Fourth quarter: Lakers win 115-105

Bryant scores 22 of 27 points in the second half and Knicks fall despite a lead at the end of the third quarter. Chandler scores a game- and career-high 28 points.

Knicks trail 113-105 with 1:08 left. Kobe scores 22 of his 27 points in the second half and  the Knicks fall 115-105, despite a third-quarter lead. Chandler's 28 points were a game- and career-high.

107-99 Lakers, and Gasol is fouled under the basket by Lee, his fifth with 3:07 to go. Lakers back ahead by 10 after he hits both.

If you're wondering, by the way: Knicks now have five turnovers to the Lakers' nine.

Lakers ahead 99-93, Bryant drives, pulls up from the top of the key on the left side and is fouled by Gallinari, Gallinari's first. Bryant with four fouls; Lee, Chandler and Jeffries the same.  Bryant hits both, the lead back out to eight. Lee is blocked badly by Gasol, Lakers with a chance to reach double-digits, and they do: Bryant for a deep 3. 104-93.

Knicks letting it slip away a bit now: 99-91 on a Gasol basket with about seven to play, matching the Lakers' biggest lead of the night.

93-89 Knicks trail at 8:37. Bynum has just two points for the Lakers since halftime, and Kobe, with 18, is just one off his team-high. Chandler and Lee have 26 and 21 points.

Kobe long 2-pointer and the Lakers putting themselves back in charge, 91-87. Larry Hughes misses a 3 ... Larry Hughes??

Third quarter: Knicks lead 85-84

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Impressive 3-point shooting so far, a combined 24-for-33. Lakers shooting right at 50 percent from the field overall, Knicks a little over 46.

New York pulls ahead by four, 85-81 with about a minute to go, Farmar with a 3 though to cut the lead back to one at the end of the quarter.

6-0 Knicks run puts them ahead 81-79, with a David Lee dunk in the middle. 2:40 left in the third.

Kobe's back: two baskets, Lakers ahead 70-69 on a 3-point play from Fisher.

Halftime: The Knicks didn't commit a turnover in the first half, and they pulled in the same number of rebounds (22) against a team that presents some size problems. Lakers relying heavily on Bynum, who has 17 points. Chandler (14), Lee (16) and Danilo (13) in double-digits for the Knicks. Surprising performance from the Knicks, but Kobe's return or lack thereof might dictate the second half.

Bill Clinton spoke at halftime on the Garden floor to encourage donations to the relief efforts in Haiti. People packed to the sides — a star-studded night. Kobe, Mr. President, the J-E-T-S ... and, of course, Chris Duhon.

Second quarter: Tied at 63

Artest answers with a 3! The final four field goals to close out both quarters tonight have all been 3-pointers. Tied at 63 going into the break.

Two in a row for Danilo. Knicks ahead 63-60. That's 13 points on 3-for-5 from downtown for Danilo.

Artest for 3, Gallinari for 3. Still tied at 60. The Knicks are staying in stride with the Lakers with Kobe out. Timeout Knicks with 41.2.

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Lee goes the distance, tied again. 1:30 to go.

Knicks wearing down the shot clock, Duhon pulls up for a 3 from the left side to break a 55-all tie, no good. Odom gets Lakers ofensive board at the other end and Bynum with a put-back to make it 57-57.

Chandler takes an easy alley oop from Jeffries, left to right, ties the game at 53. Kobe still on the bench. Bynum puts Lakers back ahead by two, 55-53, with 3 minutes to go.

Bynum burns Gallinari working along the left block. Gallinari misstepped to his left, giving the hole to Bynum, who buried it for a 53-51 LA lead with 4:08 to play.

Jordan Hill having a strong quarter: 8 points, six boards.

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Robinson fires back out to Chandler who hits straight-away open jumper, Knicks maintaining their lead 49-46.  Ah, nevermind: Walton answers with a 3-pointer from the left corner and it's tied. 4:42 left before halftime.

Jeffries gives the Knicks a one point lead, 41-40. That's an 11-4 run with Kobe on the bench. Make it 13-4 - Robinson to Chandler for an alley oop.

Robinson hits from downtown to bring Knicks within one, 40-39, with 8:40 to go.

Kerry Rhodes, Thomas Jones, Braylon Edwards and other Jets seated in the first row receive an ovation before the start of the quarter. AL Cy Young award winner and member of America's favorite team, Zack Greinke, is also listed as in attendance.

First quarter: Lakers lead 36-30.

Harrington and Farmar exchange 3s to close the first, Lakers ahead 36-30.

Kobe for 3 puts Lakers ahead 28-25 with about two minutes left in the first quarter.  Bryant puts a little right-handed lob into Bynum under the basket, who draws the foul and hits both. Kobe has five points, Bynum leading with 11. Lee has 10 and Gallinari, who had a highlight dunk with about five minutes to go in the quarter, has 10.

Lee and Jeffries with two more Knicks basket, that's an 8-0a run to make it 19-15. Knicks call a timeout after Jeffries is called for his first foul, Knicks' second at 5:18.

Gallinari and Duhon double-team Kobe in the left wing, Gallinari swats the ball out of his hand and Duhon, guarded by Kobe, ties it at 15 with a layup. Kobe tries to answer at the other end, with a long-range shot from the right side, doesn't fall.

Kobe called for a foul, his first. Gallinari drives the lane, can't get it to fall, and Artest hits a wide-open 2 from the left corner on the other end. 15-11 Lakers.

Gasol fouled with Lakers ahead 12-11 at 7:57, hits the first misses the second to make it 13-11.

Gallinari looking all sorts of confused under the basket.

Gasol fouls Chandler with Knicks ahead 8-6 at 9:55. Gasol hits the first misses the second.

Wilson Chandler 3-point basket makes it 5-2 Knicks 1 minute, 30 seconds in, Kobe answers with 2 points and Danilo comes right back with another 3. Knicks up 8-4 with 10 to go.

Mixed reaction for Kobe in pre-game introductions, a few MVP chants. Garden is packed.

***

Maybe next year, the Knicks will have an answer — or at least something of an obstacle — for Kobe Bryant and the Lakers: LeBron James last night led the Cavs to a 93-87 win over the defending champs in Cleveland. Bryant, averaging 28.4 points per game, scored 31, but was cold in the final minutes.

But let's get real. If you're a Knicks fan watching tonight's 8 o'clock game against the Lakers (32-10), you have one of two hopes: that Bryant doesn't break the MSG-record 61 points he dropped in his last visit, because, well, that was embarrassing. Or, you're willing to put aside a Knicks victory for a night, if it means another spectacle, another record-breaking performance and a bit of history.

Either way, cheers. You can probably expect at least 30 from Bryant, though he may be limited by a broken finger on his right hand. He scored 34 the last time these two met, and he's averaging 30.5 at the Garden in his career. The Knicks (17-24) have lost four of their last six, and fell to the Lakers in November, 100-90.

Evan Drellich here to take you through the game.

Starting lineups
Lakers: Ron Artest (11.6 points per game), Pau Gasol (16.8), Andrew Bynum (15.4), Kobe Bryant (28.4), Derek Fisher (7.0).
Knicks: Danilo Gallinari (14.8), Jared Jeffries (4.5), David Lee (19.1), Wilson Chandler (14.7), Chris Duhon (8.6).