KNICKS 106 MAGIC 94 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
After Carmelo Anthony had his knee drained on the road trip, he returned to the Garden and drained jumpers to lead the Knicks in a 106-94 victory over the Magic.
From the opening tip, the Knicks looked like a rejuvenated team following the grueling 10-day trip out west. A suddenly spry Anthony connected on his first attempt of the game, a deep 3-pointer that was part of a 24-9 start for New York.
The Knicks controlled the first quarter with a 26-15 advantage as Anthony scored seven points in 12 minutes and the home team shot 58 percent from the floor.
Head coach Mike Woodson started Anthony next to Pablo Prigioni, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, and Kenyon Martin. The injury riddled New York group is missing Tyson Chandler (neck), Kurt Thomas (foot), and of course Amar’e Stoudemire.
The now 18-51 Magic had no answer for the Knicks, especially in the third quarter when New York expanded its lead to 18 points. The Knicks outscored Orlando 32-19 in the period behind a combined 14 points from Anthony and J.R. Smith.
Smith finished with a game-high 22 points, Anthony registered 21 in his return, and Martin added 11 points at the center spot.
Orlando committed 16 turnovers but Tobias Harris had a solid outing with 14 points. Kyle O’Quinn scored 12 and grabbed 14 boards in the defeat.
The Knicks improved to 40-26 on the season and have now won two consecutive games.
“It felt good for the most part. At the beginning of the game I wanted to try if I could do everything movement wise and it felt pretty good. I was pain free tonight.” -- Carmelo Anthony on his knee
Knick of the Night:
Anthony posted 14 of his 21 points in the first half and was clearly moving with ease after the knee draining. A healthy Anthony helped New York quiet any run from the opposition tonight. He nailed 7-of-14 shots from the perimeter and snatched eight boards in 33 minutes of court time.
The Knicks hit 15-of-34 shots from downtown. New York’s bench added some firepower as well, combining for 54 points in the win.
The Knicks will face the Raptors in a back-to-back set starting with Friday night’s game north of the border.