MAGIC 102 KNICKS 93 F | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
Carmelo Anthony ignored the pain in his sprained right ankle and suited up for a big Eastern Conference showdown at the Garden. The Knicks star did not disappoint, scoring 33 points, grabbing nine boards, and dishing out five assists in New York’s 102-93 loss to the Magic on Monday afternoon.
The Knicks jumped out to a 6-0 lead and held a potent Orlando squad relatively in check, only allowing the Magic to register 17 points, shoot 35 percent from the floor, and 30 percent behind the arc during the first quarter.
Amar’e Stoudemire dealt with foul trouble throughout the first half, which sidelined the Knicks secondary scoring option. New York relied on Anthony’s scoring and solid defense to take a 51-45 lead into the locker room.
The turning point occurred at the 8:49 mark of the final stanza when Ryan Anderson hit a 3-pointer and Bill Walker was whistled with a foul against Glen Davis. After the successful four-point play, Orlando snatched back the lead, 83-81. Hedo Turkoglu sunk another long bomb to extend the road team’s advantage to 94-89. The Magic improved to 9-3 on the season and the Knicks fell to 6-7 this year.
Anthony was brilliant while hobbling on a sore right ankle throughout the contest. The Knicks' small forward started after missing the game in Oklahoma City on Saturday night. Despite noticeable discomfort, Anthony hit timely shots, dished the ball, and even sacrificed his body by diving over the scorer’s table for a loose ball late into the third quarter. His productivity at the free throw line was a major factor in the game as the All-Star drilled 14 of his 16 attempts and played 39 minutes.
Josh Harrellson once again delivered off the bench following a 12-point performance in Oklahoma City. The big man spaced the floor – finding open spots to make deep buckets from the perimeter. The former Kentucky center dropped eight points during Monday's game.
Iman Shumpert moved back to the point guard spot today and finished with 12 points. He also recorded three steals in an impressive defensive effort from a personal and team standpoint.
The Knicks will return to practice tomorrow in preparation for another home contest on Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns.