Magic Make Knicks Lead Disappear

By: Associated Press Writer Email
By: Associated Press Writer Email

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The home court has been anything but an advantage for the Orlando Magic this season, so they welcomed a visit from the last-place New York Knicks.

The Magic, who had lost four straight at home, beat the Knicks in every phase of the game in the second half Wednesday night to roll to a 110-96 victory behind 26 points from Hedo Turkoglu and 25 from Rashard Lewis.

Dwight Howard added 16 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks as Orlando record its first win at home since beating Miami 120-99 win on Nov. 24. The Magic evened their home mark at 6-6 this season.

"We've been letting teams off easy when they come here, but we didn't do that this time," said Turkoglu, who scored 10 points during a 20-6 run at the start of the fourth quarter that broke open a close game. "We had it going the whole second half and didn't have to try and pull something out in the final minutes."

Lewis kept the Magic in the game with 15 first-half points, going 3-for-3 from 3-point territory

"We've got to keep bringing it at teams like that when we're at home," Lewis said. "We really picked it up defensively in the second half and that made things easier for us offensively."

New York's bench was taking it to the Magic in the first half, particularly Nate Robinson and Zach Randolph. Robinson had all 16 of his points in the first two periods, including three 3-pointers. Randolph, who was benched in favor of David Lee, had 12 of his 22 as New York jumped out to a 48-39 lead late in the second period.

Lee finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds.

However, the Knicks' offense slowed to little more than jump shots from Randolph and Jamal Crawford in the second half. Crawford scored 19 of his team-high 29 points in the final two periods, but there wasn't much help when New York went down at the start of the fourth quarter.

"We had 36 good minutes, but the last 12 just got away from us," Crawford said. "We defended well, shot the ball well, but it just got away from us at the end."

Knicks starting center Eddy Curry, who played only two minutes in the first three quarters of the game, came back and played 2:35 more at the start of the final period, but did nothing to stop the Magic run and returned to the bench for the rest of the game. Curry finished with two points, no rebounds and one turnover.

"It's extremely tough to sit that long," Curry said. "I'm not used to that at all and I hope it doesn't continue. I just think at some point I'm going to have to be out there for us to win the game."

Lee was in the lineup and Randolph shifted to the bench as coach Isiah Thomas made changes in an attempt to spark the Knicks.

The teams traded baskets and the lead for much of the third quarter before the Magic finally gained control near the end to take a 79-76 lead.

Turkoglu started the fourth period with a 3-pointer and scored 10 points in the first 4 minutes as the Magic went on a 20-6 run to start the quarter. A driving layup by Lewis made it 99-82 with 6 minutes to play and New York never got the deficit under 10 the rest of the game.

The Knicks' backups outscored the Magic reserves 31-13 to help New York get off to a hot start in the first half. A 3-pointer by Fred Jones, one of seven 3-pointers for the Knicks in the half, gave them a 48-39 lead with 3:27 left in the second period.

The Magic responded with a 11-0 run, fueled by a pair of 3-pointers from Turkoglu and one from Keith Bogans. However, the Magic committed 10 first-half turnovers, including one in the final seconds that allowed Quentin Richardson to nail a 3-pointer at the buzzer and send New York to halftime with a 51-50 lead.

Notes

The Magic are 14-1 when they hold opponents under 100 points. ... Knicks C Eddy Curry started, but went to the bench after just 2 minutes with two fouls and didn't return until the start of the fourth quarter. He finished with two points and no rebounds in four minutes. ... Howard has double-doubles in 11 straight games. ... Jared Jeffries got his second start this season for New York. He replaced Jones. ... Lee had 14 rebounds, giving him double-digit rebounds in four straight games.


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