The Knicks’ effort to bounce back after a tough Miami loss was in vain as they lost their third straight, this time to the Magic.

The New York Knicks (42-33) faced off against the Orlando Magic (31-43) in the second game of a back-to-back of their quick Florida road trip. After a loss to the Miami Heat, the Knicks looked to get off the slide and back in the win column against the Magic. Unfortunately for the ‘Bockers, their valiant effort after a slow start wasn’t enough as they fell to the up-start Magic 111-106. The Knicks have now dropped three games in a row.

New York was without starting point guard Jalen Brunson after being held out with a sprained right hand. Immanuel Quickley would once again start in his place. 

It was a lethargic beginning to the game for New York as they struggled to score early. Julius Randle and RJ Barrett had notably poor starts, shooting a combined 2-12 from the field in the first quarter. The only “Knick with the Knack” was Quentin Grimes who kept the Knicks afloat in the first, scoring 10 of the team’s 22 points in the quarter.

The second quarter was the stuff of nightmares for New York as the young Magic gave the Knicks all they could handle as they built as much as a 20-point lead propelled by a 16-0 run. Immanuel Quickley had a brutal start to the game, going 0-6 before finally hitting a three-pointer. Despite their awful shooting in the first half, the Knicks were able to fight back and managed to keep the game at a manageable eight-point margin as they trailed the Magic 53-45 at halftime led by Immanuel Quickley and his 10 second-quarter points. Julius Randle was assessed a technical foul to end the first half for arguing with an official. 

The Knicks were abysmal from three-point distance in the first half shooting 5-23, though the Magic didn’t fare much better, shooting 5-18. 

The third quarter had a shaky start as the Magic instantly built their lead back up to 15 points forcing coach Tom Thibodeau to call a timeout less than two minutes into the second half. The Knicks regained their composure, however, getting defensive stops that led to an 11-0 run as they cut Orlando’s lead back to single digits. New York’s intensity was ignited by Grimes and Quickley leading the charge of the Knicks’ comeback and as they were able to tie the game 75-75 at the end of the third after being down by as much as 19 points in the period.

After an inspiring third quarter from the Knicks, the Magic would once again show they weren’t going away so easily as they jumped back to an 8-point lead. It was an uphill battle all night for the Knicks as they continued to fight but it would not be enough as Orlando’s timely three-point shooting buried New York’s hopes late as they connected on seven three-pointers in the final period. 

The Knicks struggled offensively as a team but Quentin Grimes shined, recording 20 points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He ended the night with 25 points, six assists, and five rebounds. After a poor start, Immanuel Quickley came alive in the second half and also he finished with 25 points and seven assists, and five rebounds in Brunson’s place. 

Four starters for the Orlando Magic scored double-digit points led by rookie standout Paolo Banchero who had 21 points on the evening; only Gary Harris failed to reach double-digits but was close with nine points. Cole Anthony sparked the Magic bench pouring 18 of his own. 

Next up: The Knicks head back home to take on the Houston Rockets on Monday night at 7:30 pm. 

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