After going down 17 early on to the Orlando Magic, the Knicks feigned comeback efforts fell short as they lost 105-100 in a Sunday matinee match up.
The New York Knicks (11-11), without offensive leaders Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kristaps Porzingis, were unable to beat the Orlando Magic (10-14) for the second time this season.
The Knicks struggled to garner momentum early on, as is the case in many games, quickly falling down a 17-point deficit in the first quarter before cutting the gap to 11 to trail 36-25 at the close of the first. The Knicks quickly managed to come back in the second quarter, outscoring the Magic 26-18, going into the half down three. Recovering in the third quarter, the Knicks took their first lead since 9-8 before going into the fourth quarter down two. Visibly shorthanded, the Knicks were unable to close out the game as they have down countless times at home this season, as fatigue kicked in and the Knicks fell 105-100 behind a 10-0 run from Orlando.
- The starting lineup: Utilizing an unorthodox lineup, missing two starters, the Knicks starters, sans Damyean Dotson, carried the team. Michael Beasley, filling in for Porzingis, poured in 19 points on 52.6 percent shooting, Enes Kanter poured in a double-double (18 points, 16 rebounds) and Courtney Lee continued his impressive scoring thus far this season, scoring 19 points in total.
- Resilience: With Porzingis still dealing with an ankle injury and Hardaway Jr. struggling with a stress injury, the Knicks were lacking 43 points in production. The team stepped up well, coping with an early deficit, and pushing the Magic until the final seconds of the game. All in all, despite more negatives than positives, the Knicks were lacking their two most effective pieces.
Kanter is so consistently aggressive
— The Knicks Wall (@TheKnicksWall) December 3, 2017
- The bench: The Knicks bench were unable to continue their strikingly impressive form thus far this season as, while shorthanded, contributed 31 points on 34.3 percent shooting from the field. Kyle O’Quinn was the only player to shoot 50 percent or better from the field, posting seven points on 3-of-6 shooting, while also adding four rebounds and three blocks.
- Getting to the free-throw line: The Knicks managed to get the free-throw line 10 times over the course of the game, making nine of those attempts, but the real damage was done on the other end as the Magic reached the charity stripe 29 times, making 25 of their attempts. Lacking an inside presence in Porzingis, and Willy Hernangómez getting a DNP, the Knicks were unable to force the ball inside and drive, getting to the line as Kanter, the Knicks biggest inside presence on the day, only got the line twice. Neither Kanter nor any Knickerbocker defender could grapple Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic, who poured on 34 points.
- Capitalizing: The Knicks came into this 10-4 at home, with impressive wins against the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Toronto Raptors, while the Magic were 4-9 on the road, also only winning two games of their last 13. The Knicks, despite lacking Porzingis and Hardaway Jr., should have taken advantage.
So, what’s next? The Knicks will now travel to Indiana to face off against the Pacers on Monday night at 7 p.m. EST, having beaten them 108-101 earlier in the year. Head Coach Jeff Hornacek announced that Porzingis and Hardaway Jr. will not travel with their respective injuries.