Rapid Reaction: Lakers 100, Knicks 94

WHAT IT MEANS: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and the Lakers left Knicks fans with nothing to celebrate on Christmas Day.

Bryant had 34 points and Gasol added 13 -- including a key late dunk -- to lift the Lakers to a 100-94 win.

Carmelo Anthony finished with 34 to lead the Knicks (20-8), but New York had trouble executing on both ends down the stretch.

Down three with 12 seconds to play, the Knicks let Gasol go down the lane unimpeded for a game-sealing dunk.

The Lakers have won five straight and are 2-0 since Steve Nash returned. Nash had 16 points and 11 assists and scored or assisted on five of the Lakers' final six field goals.

The Knicks have lost two of three.

SIZZLIN' SMITH: With Anthony having a tough time against Metta World Peace in the first half, the Knicks needed to find another scoring option.

J.R. Smith had no problem filling the void early on -- but had a costly miss for the Knicks late in the game.

Smith had 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting in 16 first-half minutes. He finished with 25 points, five rebounds and two steals but missed a 3-pointer with the Knicks down three and 40 seconds to play.

NOVAK KO? Steve Novak took an inadvertent elbow to the face from World Peace in the fourth quarter. He hit the ground and was attended to by Knicks trainers. Before Novak went down with the injury, the Lakers had shut him down. The sharpshooter went just 1-for-2 for 3 points in 15 minutes.

Raymond Felton also suffered an in-game injury. He sprained his right pinkie in the third quarter but stayed in the game.

Felton has been playing with bone bruises in both hands.

He had 10 points on 5-for-19 shooting.

PAINT JOB: The Lakers' deep front line seemed to overwhelm the Knicks at times. The Lakers outscored the Knicks 46-26 in the paint. They had a 14-2 advantage in the first quarter.

It didn't help that Tyson Chandler fouled out with 2:22 to play and the Knicks down two.

Marcus Camby, who hadn't played since Nov. 23, replaced Chandler and a costly turnover late in the fourth but had a big block on Jodie Meeks with 14 seconds to play.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks will play the second game of their three-game road trip in Phoenix on Wednesday.

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