No Amar’e and Lin again, no problem for the Knicks. After a slow start, New York crushed the Orlando Magic 108-86. Despite playing with a groin injury, Carmelo Anthony led New York with 25 points, six assists and five rebounds. Rookie Iman Shumpert also had 25 points (career high) to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Jameer Nelson led Orlando with 17 points and four assists.
After a slow start that saw them fall behind 24-16 in the first quarter, the Knicks completely and absolutely dominated this game. Beginning the second quarter down 29-25, the Knicks outscored Orlando 65-30 over the next two quarters. After allowing Orlando to make half their shots in the first quarter, the Knicks held the Magic to just 36% shooting in the second and third quarters. The Knicks at one point held a 39-point lead in the third quarter, bringing garbage time early at the Garden. The Magic outscored the Knicks 27-18 in the fourth quarter but it wasn’t nearly enough.
The Knicks got key contributions from everyone. Tyson Chandler did his usual work (nine points, nine rebounds), while keeping Dwight Howard in check (only 12 points and five rebounds for “Superman”.) Baron Davis cut down on the turnovers to have a good night (11 points, six assists, seven rebounds) and the combination of Steve Novak and J.R. Smith had 28 points, going 5-for-11 from beyond the arc.
With the win, the Knicks pushed their lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference to 2.5 games. Next game is Friday night in Atlanta against the Hawks, as Mike Woodson returns to the place he coached for six seasons.