KNICKS 114 MAGIC 100 | AMWAY CENTER
How it happened:
After falling behind by nine points and allowing 36 first quarter points, the Knicks quickly reversed their play to escape Orlando with a 114-106 victory over the Magic.
Steve Novak drilled a 3-pointer on a New York fast break to hand the Knicks their first lead of the ball game at the 3:17 mark of the third quarter. J.R. Smith then reeled off six straight points as part of a massive 20-3 run over five minutes for the road squad. New York took a 59-55 lead into the locker room at halftime behind the 32-point second period explosion and Carmelo Anthony’s 18 points.
Orlando matched New York’s spurt by finishing the third quarter on a torrid 17-5 run. The combination of Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo damaged the Knicks and left them in a 89-81 hole prior to the final stanza.
New York refused to falter on the road by forcing its way back into the contest and regaining the 99-97 lead at the 5:04 mark of the fourth quarter when Smith hit a difficult jumper. Anthony’s clutch turnaround jumpers with two minutes remaining and with 44.1 seconds on the clock kept the Magic out of reach for another comeback. Kidd also nailed a big-time 3-pointer with 1:45 left on the game clock to provide a 109-102 advantage for the Knicks.
New York improved to 23-10 on the season and 14-3 against Eastern Conference opponents. Anthony exploded for a game-high 40 points, Smith posted 18 points off the bench, Kidd finished with 15 points and 7 assists, and Tyson Chandler registered a double-double.
Anthony was simply unstoppable down the stretch as he scored 16 of his 40 points in the fourth quarter. Whether he was scoring off the pick-and-roll, hitting pull-up treys or turnaround jumpers, the Magic had no answer for the MVP candidate. Anthony shot 14-of-29 from the floor, 4-of-9 from behind the arc, and 8-of-9 at the charity stripe. He hauled down 6 boards and dished out 6 dimes as well. This 40-point outing marked the third time this season Anthony has scored 40 or more points.
The Knicks scored a combined 65 points in the second and fourth quarters.
The Knicks jumped on a plane to head right back to New York. On Monday night, New York welcomes the Celtics to Madison Square Garden for the first matchup of the season between the two teams.