By Charlie Widdoes (Twitter)
KNICKS 121, MAGIC 83 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
This is more like it.
The Knicks were having a tough time there for a bit, but after getting back to basics, those struggles seem like the distant past. It's only been two games since the turnaround, but the familiar formula of sharing the ball, protecting the paint and bludgeoning the opponent from downtown has once again led to a lopsided Orange and Blue win.
For the second straight night, the outcome was all but decided by the third quarter buzzer. After connecting on a then-season high 16 threes in Brooklyn, they topped that number with 17 tonight. They matched their assist total from the Brooklyn romp, as well, dishing out 25 dimes to the delight of the Garden crowd.
Despite the fact that no one played more than 30 minutes, seven Knicks reached double figures in scoring.
Coach Mike Woodson knows what it looks like when his team is clicking, and tonight was a prime example. Until now, no team had ever followed a nine-game losing streak with back-to-back 30-point wins, but if any team were equipped to do it, it would be these Knicks, armed with shooters and competitors who weren't going to accept losing.
So after a first half in which the Magic played hard and Victor Oladipo (17 points and nine rebounds) and Arron Afflalo (20 points) kept them close, the Knicks exploded in the decisive third, just like they did a night ago. They outscored the Magic 30-15 and the rout was on.
Tim Hardaway Jr. caught fire again, nailing five threes for the second time this season. J.R. Smith found his groove, making five deep balls of his own on an efficient 6-for-11 night shooting.
Continuing his string of standout play, Andrea Bargnani managed a quiet 16 and eight, showing yet again that he has found his role in a suddenly red-hot offense.
Knick of the Night:
Carmelo Anthony. As the Knicks turn the corner, Anthony's individual production is taking a hit for the benefit of the team. Tonight, he paced New York with 20 points on only 10 shots and continued his strong work on the glass with 11 rebounds. His four assists served as further evidence that he's committed to getting his teammates involved, and the results are beginning to come.
It's on to the next one, as the Knicks prepare to host Boston in a noon matinee at the Garden on Sunday.