On Wednesday Night, at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (40-26) defeated the Orlando Magic (18-51) 106-94. Box Score
The Knicks were led in scoring by J.R. Smith who had 22 points on 8-16 from the field. He added seven rebounds and two assists as well.
Carmelo Anthony made his return to the lineup and scored 21 points in 33 minutes. He shot 7-14 from the field. including 3-5 from three and led the team in rebounding with eight.
Kenyon Martin was the only other Knicks player scored in double figures with 11 points on 5-6 shooting from the field. He also had three rebounds.
Andrew Nicholson and Tobias Harris were tied for the lead in scoring for the Magic with 14 points. Kyle O’Quinn had a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 14 rebounds.
Jason Kidd scored five points, and added five assists, three steals, two rebounds.
Marcus Camby again was the only Knicks player to play in the game and not score. The Knicks bench and the Magic bench each scored 54 points.
The Magic had six player in double figures.
The Knicks made 15 three pointers and shot 44% while the Magic only made five, three pointers and shot only 29%.
The Knicks were out-rebounded by Magic 42-34.
This was the first time the Knicks have scored over 100 points since March 9th and they are 3-0 in March when scoring over 100 points.
This was the Knicks fifth wire to wire victory of the season.
The Knicks swept the four game season series from the Magic and have won six in a row overall against Orlando.
Friends, if you happen to know a Magic fan in your life, I want you to call them, text them, e-mail them and send your deepest condolences for having to watch them the past 44 games.
Tonight as Mike Breen so eloquently put it was a “Business Like” win for the Knicks over the Magic. Even thought they were missing Chandler and Stoudemire, the Magic who were also missing their two best big men in Big Baby Davis and Nikola Vucevic, were no match for the Knicks.
With Melo back, J.R. Smith shooting a very nice clip and the team as a whole shooting the lights out from three, the Knicks looked pretty good and handled the Magic from the opening tip till the final buzzer.
Melo looked good in the time he was on the court. Showing much more lift in his shot and energy in his game then what we saw when he tried to return last week against Golden State.
Tonight was exactly how the Knicks would have wanted it to go when it comes to dealing with Melo’s return. He played, shook off any rust from not playing and got to rest the entire fourth quarter as the bench salted away the win.
For the team as a whole, it seemed like a game like tonights was good for their confidence in their own abilities. They knew coming in that the Magic were not in their class but to then back it up had to feel good.
The Knicks seemed to be on the wrong end of games like this forever while on the road trip and it felt so good to see the tables turned to help build off that gutty win this past Monday against Utah.
The only bad thing it seemed that came from this game was the fact that Iman Shumpert’s knee gave him trouble and considering the Knicks recent history, who knows what will come of it. But, he sounded fine after the game and he will be day-to-day in my professional medical opinion (I’m not a doctor, but you knew that already).
At the end of the day, this win doesn’t really prove much to us in terms of the grand scheme of things for the Knicks. It was a win over a bad team at home, a loss would have been a disaster. But, we know that Melo is back, looking better and the team has built up its confidence a little bit the past two games.
Coming up next the Knicks are back on the road for the beginning of a back to back as they will travel across the border to take on Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry and the Toronto Raptors. The game is on Friday at 7:00 pm and can be seen on MSG.