Jamaal Wilkes and Bob McAdoo scored 20 points apiece as Los Angeles charged from 14 points down in the second quarter to win in New York.
McAdoo, a substitute playing 27 minutes, made nine of 12 shots from the field in the game. Ten of his points came in the second quarter, most of them after the Knicks had opened a 40-26 lead.
Another Los Angeles backup, rookie James Worthy, had 19 points, while Magic Johnson had 16 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 15.
The Lakers snapped a New York club-record six-game streak in which the Knicks had held each opponent under 100 points (the Knicks won three of those games).
Bernard King led New York in scoring for the 17th straight game, getting 22 points. Bill Cartwright and Trent Tucker had 16 apiece.
After trailing by three points at halftime, the Knicks started the third quarter with a 12-5 run that put them ahead 64-60.
But Worthy scored six points during a 19-6 resurgence with which Los Angeles regained control, 79-70, with 2:02 to go in the third period.
New York never got closer than five points the rest of the way. The final margin was the Lakers' largest lead.
The Knicks scored on 10 of their first 12 possessions to build the early margin, but a 16-6 move by the Lakers cut the deficit to 46-42.
The Knicks rebuilt their edge to 52-44 before Los Angeles scored the last 11 points of the half.