The Knicks blew a 16-point second half lead but relied on late heroics from Carmelo Anthoy and Jose Calderon to pull out a 90-87 win at Staples Center.
The game came down to a broken play with the scored knotted at 87. After nearly two violations (inbounds and backcourt) and Melo not getting free, Calderon was left to make something happen.
He did by getting free behind the arc for his only three-pointer of the night.
The Knicks looked like they were going to pack it in when the Lakers went up by five with less than four minutes remaining. But Melo lifted them with seven straight points (12 in fourth) to get the Knicks back in it. Kobe Bryant, who was nursing a sore right shoulder, made three key jumpers in the final minutes to set up the thrilling finish.
The Knicks will need all the confidence they can from this game as next up are the defending champion Golden State Warriors.