Though an 8 point lead with 2 minutes left turned into a mere 2 point advantage in the closing seconds, the Knicks’ Eddy Curry and Channing Frye hit some key free throws to ice tonight’s 99-94 win, the third straight loss for the Kobe-less Lakers. The Zen Master moaned about Bryant’s suspension before the game, and took special care to compare the accidental smack of Manu with “Raja Bell kicking a guy when he’s down.”

Though Eddy Curry’s 27 points led all scorers are the Garden Wednesday, the much maligned Jared Jeffries (above) had a breakout performance (14 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks) at both ends of the floor. Jeffries fed Curry with a no-look, behind the back pass in the third quarter that the Knicks center might’ve been the last guy in the building to see. In the game’s final moments, Jeffries blocked a Brian Cook jumper that would’ve narrowed the gap to 2 points, and he lost a contact lens in the process.

The ever polite David Lee was the only uniformed member of the club to get down on the floor and look for it. This extra-effort-off-the-bench stuff is a little too much sometimes.

If Andrew Bynum’s showing against Curry tonight is any indication, Mark Aguirre might be a more proficient tutor of big men than Kareem.

Steve Somers has described his pronounciation problems with Smush Parker’s first name as “the worst mistake in my entire career.” This from a guy who once went on MTV and took credit for breaking Huey Lewis.

After negotiating a buyout with the Grizzlies, Eddie Jones is expected to sign with Miami later this week. There’s no followup story about an Antoine Walker buyout, but if you’re a Miami fan, you can always dream.

While the entire sports world is mourning the passing of Sidney Sheldon, perhaps lost in the shuffle this emotional day is Sasha Pavlovic scoring a career-high 24 points in Cleveland’s 124-97 rout of Golden State. The Cavs made do without LeBron, sidelined by an injured big right toe, though I suspect King James’ disappointment over never getting his copy of “The Other Side Of Midnight” autographed left him in no mental state to take on the Warriors.