KNICKS 113 MAGIC 97 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
In a carbon copy of the previous game against Orlando, the Knicks shutdown the Magic in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter en route to a 113-97 victory on Wednesday night.
After allowing Orlando to shoot 52.5 percent from the field, 40 percent behind the arc, and 51 points, New York tightened the screws in the fourth quarter. The Knicks held a slight six-point advantage entering the final stanza but blasted the road squad on a 15-7 run over the first 6 minutes of the period.
New York’s double digit lead was built on a much improved defensive effort on the two prolific guards in the Magic backcourt. J.J. Redick scored 17 of his 29 in the first half and Jameer Nelson dropped 19 of his 21 in the first 2 quarters of action. Meanwhile, the Knicks started to find gold by sending alley-oops to Tyson Chandler for an aerial assault Orlando could not defend.
Chandler was a strong force in the paint with 21 points, seven boards, and five assists as New York improved to 28-15 and winners of two consecutive games at the Garden.
Carmelo Anthony scored 20 points and needed key contributions from his teammates to notch the win. Raymond Felton came out aggressive with 12 points on a flawless 5-for-5 shooting in the first quarter. The starting point guard finished with 15 points and nine dimes.
The second unit crew was impressive as well for New York. Amar’e Stoudemire hit all seven of his field goal attempts in 20 minutes of floor time, J.R. Smith scored 11, and Pablo Prigioni helped ease the absence of Jason Kidd (sore back) with 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
Knick of the Night:
Chandler did not practice on Tuesday afternoon due to a strained neck but the big man fought through the adversity and delivered a brilliant performance tonight. He was nearly perfect, hitting 10-of-11 shots from the floor in 32 minutes of action.
Anthony set the all-time franchise record with his 30th consecutive 20-point performance. The Knicks All-Star passed Richie Guerin on the list by hitting a trey in the fourth quarter to push his total to 20.
The Knicks will hold a practice session on Thursday afternoon at MSG Training Center to prepare for the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. The contest against Milwaukee will be the first of a back-to-back set at home with the visiting Kings in town for their lone trip to MSG.