first_img• Photo Gallery: 02/13: Lakers vs. Knicks • Slideshow: 02/13: Lakers vs. Knicks LOS ANGELES – So much for the Lakers returning to the comforts of home after their two-week road trip. So much for things being different against the New York Knicks with Kobe Bryant on the court instead of serving a suspension. Bryant finished with 31 points while the Knicks got 24 from Curry and 19 each from Quentin Richardson and Jamal Crawford. They made the plays late and the Lakers dropped another game to a team with a losing record. Lakers coach Phil Jackson had warned his players they couldn’t fall back on their 19-6 home record. The Lakers, however, now have lost three consecutive home games, going back to games against Charlotte and San Antonio before the long trip. The Lakers had a chance to win on the final possession but couldn’t get the ball to Bryant. Odom inbounded to Ronny Turiaf and got the ball back but wound up changing directions and missed an 18-footer over David Lee. Prior to that, Curry finished an alley-oop dunk with 7.1 seconds left off a Crawford pass. The Knicks kept possession after Richardson missed a 3-pointer as Lee grabbed the offensive rebound and passed it back outside to Crawford. The end result was all the same Tuesday night, another crushing late-game loss. The Lakers returned to Staples Center, only to fall 107-106 to the Knicks and extend their season-long losing streak to four games. It was a victory that had Knicks fan Spike Lee running down the courtside seats to celebrate in front of Lakers fan Denzel Washington. The difference was an Eddy Curry alley-oop dunk and a Lamar Odom missed jumper in the last 10 seconds. center_img Odom went scoreless in the first half and finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Turiaf finished with 11 points, but the charge he took with 1:08 left was one of the plays of the game. Stephon Marbury drove the lane and attempted a shot trying to beat the 24-second clock. He went crashing into Turiaf, however, who had position a step outside of the restricted area. The Lakers took a 104-103 lead as Bryant drove into a crowd and was fouled by Richardson. Bryant made both free throws with 59.5 seconds remaining. Curry then bowled over Smush Parker for a basket but Bryant sank a jumper to push the Lakers in front 106-105 with 29.9 seconds to play. That set up the game’s fateful possession, the alley-oop from Crawford to Curry. The Lakers were back at Staples Center for the first time since Jan. 28, with a new video for player introductions that prominently mentioned Bryant’s suspension and featured highlights from his return the next night against Boston. Bryant unloaded 43 points on the Celtics and talked before Tuesday’s game about the frustration of having to pace around his hotel room watching the Lakers lose 99-94 to the Knicks without him. But Bryant added he was more concerned about the Lakers snapping their three-game losing streak than any kind of payback. Jackson agreed, with an aside that nobody in the league office in New York was staying up to watch. “They see all the games,” Jackson said. “This one’s not any more important to them than any other.” Bryant couldn’t contain his excitement about being home after the Lakers’ longest road trip in 17 years. “We feel like we’re in Shangri-La,” he said. “I felt like kissing the ground when we got here.” Jackson was most concerned about the Lakers suffering the inevitable “lag” of coming home and ordered his players to report early to Staples Center to get re-acquainted with shooting on their home floor. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more