NBA schedule: East's best Knicks host struggling Lakers on Thursday

Jeff Gross

The Lakers need a win against anyone as they head to Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks, who happen to be the best team in the Eastern Conference right now.

Thursday night in the NBA typically features fewer games but more national television exposure, as TNT takes over the schedule beginning with the stumbling Los Angeles Lakers facing the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden. Later, the Portland Trail Blazers hosting the San Antonio Spurs in the nightcap.

The only other game on the docket takes place in Atlanta, as the Hawks host the slumping Charlotte Bobcats in a contest beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.

New York is currently 8-0 at home this season, as the Lakers come to town as losers of three consecutive contests. At 16-5 overall and coming off a win over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, the Knicks own the Eastern Conference's best record so far. The Lakers, despite lots of points from Kobe Bryant, were defeated by the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday in Kyrie Irving's return to the court. Game time is slated for 8 p.m. ET.

The Spurs are only a half-game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Western Conference's best record and had their five-game win streak snapped Wednesday night, thanks to the Utah Jazz and a three-pointer from Mo Williams as time expired. The Trail Blazers, led by rookie point guard Damian Lillard, are 9-12 overall this season. Tipoff is set for 10:30 p.m. ET.

The complete schedule for Thursday and beyond can be viewed right here.

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