With the year 2010 coming to a close, the Orlando Magic were able to defeat the New York Knicks by the score of 112-103 in front of a nationally televised audience and a record sell-out crowd (19,090) at the Amway Center. The win extends the Magic’s winning streak to five games. Orlando was led by a balanced attack, as seven players scored in double-figures. Dwight Howard paved the way for Orlando with 24 points, 18 rebounds, and four blocks. Hedo Turkoglu had 17 points, nine rebounds, and four assists. J.J. Redick, Brandon Bass, and Ryan Anderson each finished with 14 points, while Jameer Nelson and Gilbert Arenas each chipped in with 10 points. Unfortunately for Howard during the game, he picked up his league-leading 12th technical foul of the season. Once Howard reaches 16 techs, he’ll be suspended one game. That’s a storyline to keep an eye on in the next few weeks, given the high propensity for Howard to earn technical fouls.
Although the Knicks won three of the four quarters against the Magic, it was a 40-point second quarter by the latter that was the difference. In that period, Orlando outscored New York by 19 points. What happened in that quarter?
The second unit for the Magic took control of the game.
At the start of the period, Orlando trotted out Arenas, Redick, Turkoglu, Anderson, and Bass. Needless to say, these players went to work offensively.
Whether it was three-pointers off the dribble or in transition, pick and rolls, and kick-outs, the Magic blitzed the Knicks with a display offensively that continues to further the idea that this is a team that can put up points in a hurry — regardless of the opponent. Yes, New York is one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA and they did little to change that sentiment on this night. But Orlando still had to make shots and they did so in bunches in the quarter.
For the remainder of the evening, the Knicks tried their best to make a comeback after trailing by as many as 20 points but the deficit was too large for them to overcome and the Magic were able to hold them at bay in the fourth quarter with some huge shots from Jason Richardson and Turkoglu. New York, especially Amar’e Stoudemire, deserves a ton of credit for making Howard earn his points but their perimeter defense betrayed them and that was the difference.
It’s been an up-and-down year for Orlando but with the new players settling in nicely, the remainder of the season looks bright for this remade squad. It’s key, at some point, for general manager Otis Smith to acquire another big man that can backup Howard. But right now, everyone in head coach Stan Van Gundy‘s eight-man rotation is producing right now and that’s something that couldn’t have been said a couple of weeks ago.
This victory was another example of that.