Knicks limp into matchup against Lakers

( - The New York Knicks will continue their five-game western road trip in Los Angeles with Thursday's classic matchup against the Lakers at Staples Center.

The Knicks and Lakers are storied franchises going through tough times.

New York began the sojourn with Monday's 106-78 beating at the hands of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center, then dropped an 87-82 decision in Salt Lake City to the Utah Jazz the following evening.

Alexey Shved had 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and is averaging 15.5 points in his last six games (2 starts). Andrea Bargnani added 20 points and Cole Aldrich chipped in 17 points and 13 rebounds off the bench for the Knicks, who have dropped five in a row and 13 of the last 15 games.

"The way we came out in the third quarter and fought and went into the fourth quarter with a chance to win, that's the mentality we have to have each night," Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.

The game was tied 73-73 midway through the fourth quarter before the Jazz seized control following an 11-4 run.

Shved cut the margin to 85-82 with 26.6 ticks on the clock. He sunk all three fouls shots after being fouled on a 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game. Trey Burke hit two free throws at the other end and Shved was off the mark on a triple before Derrick Favors secured the rebound and the victory.

New York has dropped 12 consecutive road games against Western Conference opponents and fell to 4-28 on the road overall this season. It still has the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns to visit on this jaunt.

Quincy Acy (knee) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (back) are questionable Thursday.

The Lakers ended a five-game slide with a 93-85 triumph versus the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, as Jordan Hill scored 16 points and both Ed Davis and Wesley Johnson had 13.

Jeremy Lin totaled 12 points with seven rebounds and five assists for the Lakers, who opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run and headed to the final stanza with a 67-61 edge. Hill knocked down a deep jumper from the top of the key to make it 87-82 and Lin then essentially sealed the outcome with two at the free throw line with 31 seconds left.

"I liked the defensive effort we gave, especially the second half. (The) third quarter was probably the best defense we have played all season," Lakers coach Byron Scott said.

Scott was at the helm for his 1,000th game in the NBA.

"I think I've learned a lot coaching 1,000 games. The game is the same, but the players are different. I'll leave it at that," he said.

Los Angeles won for the fourth time in the last 16 games and improved to 10-21 as the host. The Lakers will close the homestand Sunday versus Atlanta.

Lin (thigh) and Johnson (calf) are probable Thursday.

The Lakers were also officially knocked out of the playoffs when the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Brooklyn Nets. It was their earliest elimination since the franchise moved to LA before the 1960-61 season.

The Lakers were handed a 92-80 loss in New York on Feb. 1, as Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points with eight rebounds to lead the Knicks. Carlos Boozer had 19 points with 10 rebounds in that one for LA, which is still 11-4 in the past 15 games in this series.

New York is winless in its last seven games at the Lakers.