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Recap: Knicks, Magic

After a slow start, the Knicks fought back to beat the Orlando Magic tonight at the Amway Center by a score of 114-106. Carmelo Anthony led all scorer’s with 40 points while adding in six rebounds and six assists. Jameer Nelson and Aaron Afflalo both scored 29 points to lead the Magic. The Knicks got a double-double from Tyson Chandler (14 points, 12 rebounds), 18 points from J.R. Smith off the bench and an all-around game from Jason Kidd (15 points, eight rebounds, 7 assists). Nikola Vucevic lead all players with 18 rebounds for Orlando.

First Quarter

So either the Magic visited Disney World before the game and got some mystic dust thrown at them or the Knicks did the same and were still reveling in meeting with Mickey Mouse. Whatever it was, Orlando came out firing and the Knicks could do nothing to stop them. The Magic jumped out to a 14-2 lead, hitting on their first six shots. Orlando finished the first quarter shooting a blistering 63% from the floor, with Jameer Nelson, Aaron Afflalo and Andrew Nicholson (who?) combining for 28 of the Magic’s 36 first quarter points on 12-for-14 shooting. After the 14-2 deficit the Knicks put themselves in, they managed to outscore the Magic 25-22 the rest of the way to cut the Orlando lead to single digits before the 2nd Quarter. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks, scoring 10 points in the period. Amar’e Stoudemire, playing in his third game of the season, had his best start so far. He finished with four points in the quarter while displaying some nice moves and effort on defense. He was fouled on one pick and roll attempt with Jason Kidd, found an open Anthony for a trey out of a post-up and took a charge on an Afflalo layup attempt.

Second Quarter

The Knicks decided to show up for the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Magic 32-19 in the period to take a 59-55 lead into halftime. The Knicks defense that showed up against the San Antonio Spurs this past Thursday night, reappeared for New York, as they held the Magic to 37% shooting in the period. After Moe Harkless scored the first basket of the period for the Magic, the Knicks used an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to five. The Magic would push that lead to eight before another Knicks run (this one an 18-3 run) gave them a lead they would push to seven. However, a 7-4 spurt by the Magic to end the half kept them within reach at 59-55.

Third Quarter

The Knicks looked poised to put this game away, doubling their lead to eight early in the third quarter. Then, everything went downhill as the first quarter Knicks returned. Down 69-61, the Magic used a 27-11 to turn an eight point deficit into an eight point lead. Jameer Nelson and Afflalo torched the Knicks, combining for 24 of the Magic’s 34 third quarter points on 7-for-11 shooting. As a team, the Magic shot 57% in the quarter, compared to the Knicks awful 38% shooting. The good vibes Amar’e Stoudemire created in the first half were gone, as he went 0-for-3 from the floor.

Fourth Quarter

The Carmelo Bernard Anthony King Show. After a quiet third quarter, Anthony went off in the fourth, scoring 16 of his game-high 40 points as he put up almost half of the Knicks 33 points. MVP chants were reigning down on him during his scoring spree. The Knicks used a 14-6 run at the start of the period to tie the game up at 97 before using a 17-9 run to wrap the game up. It’s as if the Knicks decided before the game that they would play the odd numbered quarters terribly (outscored 70-49) while looking like a title contender in the even numbered quarters (65-36).

Notes:

  • Anthony’s 40 points marked the third time he has scored at least 40 this season. Carmelo Bernard Anthony King.
  • For all the talk of J.R. Smith deserving an All-Star game nod (despite his recent five-game streak of 20+ points and career season), if any Knicks guard should be deserving of an -All-Star game spot, shouldn’t it be Jason Kidd. Another masterful game from Kidd tonight, scoring 15 points on five three-pointers while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
  • Guessing Coach Mike Woodson wasn’t that impressed with Marcus Camby’s passing. Despite passing out four assists, Camby grabbed just one rebound and posted a -15 and didn’t see the floor in the fourth quarter.
  • If Iman Shumpert returns to be the lockdown perimeter defender he was last season plus with an added jumpshot, Ronnie Brewer could be relegated to becoming the Knicks victory cigar. Once again, Brewer played less than 20 minutes (his ninth straight such game) and posted single-digit points (his 18th straight such game).
  • While it seemed he was getting mauled at times by Nikola Vucevic, Tyson Chandler finished with the quietest, efficient double-double of all-times (14 points, 12 rebounds).
  • While most fans will get caught up in his misses in the lane in the second half, Amar’e Stoudemire did do some nice things in the game. He posted 11 points (his second straight game in double digits), while displaying some of the post moves he learned last summer under the tutelage of Hakeem Olajuwon. With more game-time, Stoudemire will begin to knock down those easy shots he was missing.