If ever there was a time to assume a jump shot was going in, it was the third quarter of the Lakers' 127-96 blowout victory over the Knicks on Tuesday. And if ever there was a player to assume his jump shot was going in, it is -- without a doubt -- Nick Young.
L.A.'s swagmaster-in-chief brought down the house when he prematurely celebrated a three-pointer that wound up missing at the end of the Lakers' historic 51-point third-quarter performance.
As the period's final seconds ticked down, Young set up a step-back three-pointer over Tim Hardaway Jr., turning his back to the basket once he thought it was going in. As the ball ricocheted off the rim, Young raised both of his arms to his side, with three fingers extended, only to abruptly turn around and throw his head back in disbelief once he realized his shot had missed the mark.
Just this once, Young could be forgiven for his assumption. L.A. shot an astonishing 19-for-26 (73.1 percent) during the period. On the evening, Young tallied 20 points (on 6-for-10 shooting). He made all five of his other three-pointers in the game.
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The Lakers' 51 third-quarter points set a franchise record for most points scored in a quarter and also set a Knicks franchise record for most points conceded in a quarter. the Lakers led 50-42 at halftime; 12 minutes later, they were ahead 101-73.
''We hit shots all over the place,'' Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said, according to the Associated Press. ''It's infectious. When you start taking good shots, they start going in, and even the hard shots start going in.''
New Knicks president Phil Jackson described his team's play during the period as "really awful."
The Lakers improved to 24-46 with their second straight win. The Knicks dropped to 29-42 with their second straight loss.