New York, NY (Sports Network) - On a day where the Lakers were dealt some bad news, Kobe Bryant electrified his team by setting an opponent's scoring record at historic Madison Square Garden, tallying 61 points en route to a Los Angeles 126-117 victory over the New York Knicks.
Bryant surpassed the 55 points set by Michael Jordan on March 28, 1995. Bryant finished 19-of-31 from the field and 20-for-20 from the charity stripe to set a season-high.
Earlier Monday, it was announced that Lakers center Andrew Bynum will miss between 8-to-12 weeks after an MRI exam on his right knee showed a tear of the medial collateral ligament.
Pau Gasol added 31 points and 14 rebounds for his 15th double-double of the season for the Lakers, who have won three in a row and seven of eight overall. Trevor Ariza totaled 13 points and eight assists in the win.
David Lee notched 22 points and 12 boards for his 36th double-double on the year for New York, which had a three-game win streak halted.
Al Harrington had in 24 points for the Knicks, who had a five-game win streak at Madison Square Garden snapped. Wilson Chandler gave 20 points and Nate Robinson 13.
The Lakers grabbed a 31-26 lead after 12 minutes and Bryant's 34 first-half points led to a 65-54 Lakers lead at the intermission.
Harrington's layup brought the Knicks within seven points just prior to the midway point of the third quarter. However, Gasol had a pair from the line and Bryant added four straight points to give the visitors an 84-71 lead.
New York managed to trim that deficit slightly, 96-86, heading into the final 12 minutes.
Ariza's finger roll and two free throws from Gasol opened a 100-86 LA lead with 10:23 still left in the contest.
Two free throws from Bryant opened a 126-106 Lakers lead with just over 2 1/2 minutes left.