Knicks-Lakers breaks TV record

The Knicks-Lakers game on Tuesday afternoon generated a 5.9 overnight TV rating, the best ever for an ABC Christmas Day game in the early window of a doubleheader. Additionally, the holiday delivered the highest-rated triple-header ever on ESPN, averaging a 2.1 rating, up 17 percent from a 1.8 rating in 2010.

Here are three other Knicks-Lakers broadcast highlights:

  • Had a 9.2 rating in New York, the third-best rating for a regular-season game on ABC in the market

  • Had a 11.9 rating in Los Angeles, the sixth-best rating for a regular-season game on ABC in the market

  • Its 5.9 overnight rating was up 11 percent compared to the Celtics-Magic game in 2010, which was 5.3

Here are some key game highlights:

  • Carmelo Anthony's 34 points against the Lakers marked the sixth time in his last seven games to score 30 or more.

  • The Knicks are 16-2 this season when turning the ball over 11 times or fewer (they had 11 against the Lakers).

  • J.R. Smith scored in double-digits once again (he's only scored under 10 points one time this month, on Dec. 2 vs. Phoenix, who the Knicks face on Wednesday night). Interestingly, both games that Smith scored more than 20 points -- in the Knicks' last two losses against the Bulls and Lakers -- Tyson Chandler was held to five and six points, respectively. They need to improve their pick-and-roll game, and can't rely too much on Anthony and Smith in isolation. Raymond Felton's poor shooting lately -- he's now below 40 percent for the first time this season -- is a big part of the problem. Defenses are laying off him and collapsing more on Chandler.

  • Ronnie Brewer came off the bench for the first time this season, and he still didn't connect on a 3-pointer. That's actually been one of the Knicks' biggest Achilles' heels in their past six games, as they've sunk to 32.4 percent from downtown. Before then, they were at 41.2 percent -- second-best in the league.

  • The Knicks were 9-for-16 (56.3 percent) from the foul line against the Lakers, tying their worst mark of the season. They were also 9-for-16 in their Dec. 17 loss to the Rockets.

  • Kobe Bryant is now 24-13 all-time in head-to-head matchups against Anthony (including the postseason).

  • Bryant, who had 34 points, is now the Christmas Day points leader with 383 (six more than Oscar Robertson).

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