The Los Angeles Lakers no longer look like the composed, confident team that won 63 games last season.
"The concentration has to be there for 48 minutes," coach Mike Dunleavy said after the Lakers' record fell to 1-3 with a 109-103 loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday night. "I have to take some of the blame as the coach, but each individual player has to look inside himself."Magic Johnson had 24 points, 15 rebounds and 14 assists, and backcourt teammate Byron Scott scored 24 points, but the Lakers were dominated inside.
Knicks center Patrick Ewing had 27 points and 14 rebounds, forward Kiki Vandeweghe scored 22 points and Charles Oakley grabbed 12 rebounds.
"We need to get tougher down low," Johnson said. "Our probelm so far has not been the new offense, but too many mental mistakes. We threw the ball away twice out of bounds and lost a rebound when we could have dusted the game. We have to get mentally tougher when the game is tight."
Vandeweghe was 9-for-12 from the field and scored 10 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes for the Knicks.
"It's the best win since I've been here," said Vandeweghe, who has played parts of two seasons with the Knicks. "It's fun to return to LA and play well."
"Kiki made the big shots for us," Ewing said. "He's been stepping up all season. I wasn't able to make my shots in the fourth quarter because they collapsed on me, but fortunately I was able to find the open man."
New York led 94-93 on Ewing's two free throws with 5:29 left before Vandeweghe scored the Knicks' next 8 points on two 18-footers, a layup and two free throws, giving them a 102-99 lead with 2:30 remaining.
Vandeweghe's dunk with 1 1/2 minutes left made it 106-100 as the Knicks outscored the Lakers 9-4 in the last three minutes.
The Knicks have won the first two games of a four-game West Coast trip, having beaten Sacramento on Saturday night.
"Our goal was to say close and create turnovers with our defense," coach Stu Jackson said. "It was a big win. The key to the game was that we put on a lot of defensive pressure. We ran the offense well. I don't think we missed an open man all night."
Trail Blazers 138, Clippers 107
Portland remained the NBA's only unbeaten team, handing Los Angeles its fourth consecutive lopsided defeat.
Clyde Drexler scored 17 of his 23 points in the runaway first half and Kevin Duckworth added 22 points for the Trail Blazers.
Charles Smith had 21 points and Ken Norman 20 for the Clippers, who have lost four straight games by an average margin of 24 after winning their first two of the season.
Timberwolves 108, Magic 81
Minnesota outscored winless Orlando 30-10 during one second-half stretch, and the Timberwolves posted their second straight lopsided victory.
The Magic (0-6) have lost 21 of 22 games, 30 of 32 and 37 of 40 since last season. Against the Timberwolves, the Magic shot 40 percent from the floor and committed 19 turnovers.
Minnesota continued its domination of the NBA's most recent expansion teams. On Friday, the Timberwolves won 106-77 over Charlotte.