Despite the fact that they had lost four games in a row while their opponents had won four consecutive games, the Orlando Magic fought hard against the New York Knicks. Unfortunately, they were unable to topple the undefeated Knicks, falling 99-89 on Tuesday night at the Amway Center.
“You have to want to win more, simple as that,” Magic guard Arron Afflalo said. “There's not one man on this team that's going to do it; (we) pretty much have to want it more.”
Carmelo Anthony had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks (5-0), while Raymond Felton added 21 points and five assists. J.R. Smith came off the bench to score 21 and Tyson Chandler finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
Orlando (2-5) received double figures in points from all five of its starters. J.J. Redick had 18 points and seven assists, while Afflalo recorded 13 points, Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 10 rebounds, E’Twaun Moore notched 12 points and eight assists, and Glen Davis registered 10 points. Rookies Andrew Nicholson and Moe Harkless provided solid contributions off the bench, finishing with 11 points and 10 points, respectively.
The Magic outshot New York 49.3% to 48.8% from the field, but turned the ball over 20 times, which led to 24 points for the Knicks. They outrebounded New York 42-31, held a 28-15 advantage in assists, and scored 46 points in the paint compared to 40 for the visitors. In the end, the Knicks simply took better care of the ball, finishing with just nine turnovers of their own.
The game was a back-and-forth affair throughout. After the Knicks jumped out to a 27-23 lead at the end of the first quarter, Orlando fought back to take a 53-49 lead at the half. New York held a 77-76 advantage after three periods, but a late 13-4 run gave the Knicks a double-digit lead that they would not relinquish.
“We can't afford to make mistakes, but for me at the end of this game I was pretty proud of our guys and their effort tonight,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. “That's a good ball club on both ends of the floor and we made them earn a win tonight.”
Orlando is at Detroit on Friday, with tip-off set for 7:30 pm on FS Florida.
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