In a game that would have been nice to lose for the tank, the Knicks came alive in the second half and defeated the Orlando Magic.

Coming off the break, the Knicks managed to secure a win over the Magic on Thursday night, ending their eight-game losing streak. With every starter playing the part of a sieve in the first quarter, the Knicks looked well on their way to a clutch loss for the tank. New York began to lock in as the second half got rolling and held the Magic to just 35 points after they came out of the locker room after Orlando dropped 69 points in the first half. The Magic were almost certainly going to be worse than the Knicks no matter what, but this put the nail in the coffin there. Not a good win for a team with thoughts of L’s and lottery night running through their dreams.

A few thoughts:

  • So Knicks to win a game like this when they were down by double-digits in the second half. So very Knicks.
  • Take a bow, Jeff Hornacek:

  • 41 first quarter points. Forty one! 4! 1! To the Orlando Magic! Yikes. The Knicks defense recovered after halftime, holding the Magic to just 20 points in the third quarter. The Magic were 5-of-6 in the first quarter from three but were just 3-of-13 for the rest of the game. Nikola Vucevic looked good for Orlando in his return, as did Mario Hezonja and Evan Fournier.
  • How bad are the Magic? What an embarrassing loss for a franchise that has been reeling since Dwight Howard left. They started the season looking like a playoff team and are now 18–40. What a mess.
  • Emmanuel Mudiay started his first game as a Knick tonight, and he was… Emmanuel Mudiay. The trade was a no-brainer for the Knicks, so giving Mudiay the minutes he needs to confirm he’s the player we hope he can be and not the player he has been should be the goal. He played 23 total minutes, racking up eight points, five rebounds, and four assists. He struggled a bit from the floor, but had some absolutely divine passes, including this alley-oop to THJ:

  • All of you Trey Burke fans, enjoy this one. The Michigan product had a big first half, scoring 14 points in 14 minutes played. He finished with 26 points, six assists, and four rebounds, leading the Knicks with a +15 on the night. Burke has seen his minutes fluctuate tremendously, being glued to the bench one night and out there with the starters on the next. It feels safe to say that he’s locked himself firmly into rotational minutes for the rest of the season. We hope.


  • The minutes on the wing will be important to monitor moving forward with new addition Troy Williams in the fold and Lance Thomas still firmly in the rotation (25 minutes tonight for the veteran). Williams played six total minutes, and had an absolutely gorgeous move on the baseline:

Not a game we wanted the Knicks to win, but it was nice to see some good things from the youngsters. Frank was inefficient, but was a menace defensively. Trey Burke gave Jeff Hornacek a legitimate reason to continue playing him over the final 22 games. Winning is supposed to feel good, but right now as a Knicks fan, it simply does not. Still, seeing some of the excellent play from the guards arguably made the win worth it.

The Knicks will be back in action on Saturday against the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m. EST on MSG.