Knicks Knock Magic Down Another Peg
Orlando has now lost 9 of their last 11 contests, and 5 straight on the home parquet despite the Knicks almost handing the Magic the victory. New York led by 25 points in the third period. Knicks did enough late to leave Orlando victorious, 103-98. All five Magic starters scored in double figures. Jameer Nelson came just two rebounds shy of his first triple-double as he tallied 17 points, 10 assists, and 8 boards. Arron Afflalo led all scorers with 26 points. Nikola Vucevic had another double-double on the season, 14 points and 12 rebounds.
- Orlando did suffer their worst loss of the season at New York on December 6th. A 38-point trouncing, but it was without Tobias Harris and Nik Vucevic being active. The Magic entered Monday having lost 7 straight to the Knicks. Close but no cigar for the pinstriped patrolmen.
- Beno Udrih returned to Amway and was immediately greeted with an outstanding juke spin by Jameer that found Nelson drilling a step-back 3-pointer. That 3-pointer in the middle of the opening period surpassed Hedo Turkoglu (stuck on 794 makes) for 3rd all-time on the Magic’s all-time 3-point makes list. I’d be surprised if Nelson tracks down Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott.
- Despite a Knicks 15-4 run, Orlando only trailed 29-27 after one period of action with both teams shooting over fifty percent. Carmelo had 8 points in the opening quarter, while each Magic starter had four or more.
- A 12-0 run towards halftime had Orlando in an ugly spot as the Knicks were annihilating them with scorching offense.
- Carmelo Anthony’s baseline buzzer beater over an outstretched Tobias gave Melo 17 points. More importantly, Knicks led 65-41 at the break. The carnage was indescribable. Knicks shot 52.1 FG% which is solid, but 8-of-14 from 3-point range is back breaking and made the 36-14 second period point difference extremely noticeable. I guess sitting Andrea Bargnani the entire period explains it all. The 65 Knicks points were a season-high for them in half this year.
- It’s not often you see a player get tagged with back-to-back travel violations. Thanks, Iman Shumpert.
- Carmelo Anthony sprained his left ankle on a loose ball that Vucevic claimed with 7:26 to go in the 3rd quarter. Melo had to rest on the bench and would not return. Anthony finished with nineteen. Orlando was down 20, but you felt the Magic could potentially make a run. With Bargnani out there defending and Tyson Chandler hoisting up bricks, there’s always a chance.
- Jacque didn’t use a single bench player the entire 3rd period as each starter was in double figures scoring by the end of the quarter. Tobias, Arron, and Jameer would play the whole 2nd half.
- The run did indeed come as the Knicks appeared shell-shocked without Melo leading them. Orlando was down 25 points early in the third quarter. Orlando entered the final period of regulation down 84-76 as the Magic were +16 in that all-important third.
- Coach Vaughn only had one bench player on the court in the fourth, getting Maxiell in to give Vucevic and Glen each a breather. A Jason putback found Orlando only down one point, 84-83 with 8:28 remaining and Knicks fans getting panicky.
- The largest deficit ever overcome in Orlando Magic history was 25 points. November 8, 1989 at the Cleveland Cavaliers in what was the Magic franchise’s first ever road win. Orlando would fall just short of adding this ball game to that factoid.
- It’s a marveling spectacle to witness Glen Davis running on nothing but fumes, but man was Big Baby giving it his all. Glen finished with 20 points and 7 rebounds.
- Hustling with all they had, the Magic were down 91-89 when Tobias Harris had a chance to tie it up on a fast break only to have JR Smith prevent T12 from scoring. Raymond Felton ended up getting hurt on that play at the 3:14 mark. Felton didn’t return as he strained his right groin.
- Clutch Andrea Bargnani. 3 words I never ever want to have utter again, but they’re true. Andrea made a few key buckets in the final minute and Beno Udrih iced the contest at the line. Good job, good effort. Magic paid for an abhorrent 2nd period.
- Orlando gave themselves a chance by winning the points in the paint battle 26-8 in the second half, and only coughing up 2-for-7 three-point shots to the Knicks.
Your 8-20 Orlando Magic get a few days off before hosting the Detroit Pistons on Friday.
Adam Papageorgiou runs Orlando Magic Greek and is a proud MBO contributor.