On Wednesday Night, at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks (28-15) defeated the Orlando Magic (14-31), by the score of 113-97. Box Score
Tyson Chandler led the Knicks in scoring with 21 points on 10-11 shooting from the field. He also had seven rebounds, five of them offensive boards and five assists.
Carmelo Anthony broke a Knicks record held by Richie Guerin by scoring 20 points or more for the 30th consecutive game. Anthony had exactly 20 points on 8-17 along with seven rebounds and five assists.
Amar’e Stoudemire was perfect from the floor for only the second time in his career as he scored 14 points on 7-7 shooting. He also added four rebounds and two blocks.
J.J. Reddick led the Magic in scoring with 29 points including knocking down four three pointers. Jameer Nelson scored 21 points and had nine assists. Both Reddick and Nelson were a combined -25 points.
Raymond Felton had 15 points and nine assists and knocked down 3-6 from downtown in his third game back from his injury.
Pablo Prigioni, filling in for an ailing Jason Kidd as the primary back up point guard scored 11 points off the bench with two rebounds and two assists.
The Knicks shot 57% from the field and out-rebounded the Magic 36-31.
The Knicks had 30 assists and only nine turnovers.
The Knicks bench outscored the Magic 48-27.
The Knicks have now outscored the Magic by 35 points in the fourth quarter.
This was the first time the Knicks have won consecutive home games since beginning the season 10-0.
Well, that certainly got a lot easier at the end than it was at the beginning. For a while, it looked like J.J. Reddick and Jameer Nelson were trying to beat the Knicks by themselves early on. But, the law of averages kicked in, the Magic remembered they are the Magic and the Knicks turned the game into a rout in the second half.
This to me was the best offensive game we have seen from the Knicks in gosh knows how long because there was ball movement, continuity and balance throughout the lineup scoring wise. Six players in double figures and the leading scorer only has 21 points for a team that scores 113 is about as balanced as it gets. Plus for a team that is 29th in the NBA in assists to put up 30 while missing one of the best passers on the team in Jason Kidd, is also impressive.
Now, should we start getting overly excited about who the Knicks beat tonight. Not really, the Magic are awful. They have I think a good future ahead, but for now, not so much. The point is that this is a game the Knicks should win and they did just that against inferior competition.
- For a guy to have a strained neck and play as well as Tyson Chandler did, could you imagine his game if he was healthy? He showed some nice post moves, took an outside jumper, which was his only miss, and just had a nice all around game. His passing was pretty good and it was nice to see him be more aggressive as the roll man with Felton back. Tyson looks more confident on the offensive side with Felton back and tonight was a perfect example of that. It’s shocking to see Chandler lead the team in scoring, but it is certainly nice to see him have an all around game.
- Amar’e is really rounding into form as another big scorer off the bench much like J.R. Smith. He did not miss a shot, showed some good moves again in the post and helped the Knicks pull away in the second half. His attitude about coming off the bench has been a breath of fresh air, considering he could have made it more difficult for coach Woodson, and shows that his words about being all about the team were not hollow. I thought he came back too early from his injury on New Years Day, but now that he has been able to get his legs under him, you are seeing more and more of the Amar’e we have seen in the past. The turnovers and defense are still a bit of an issue, but overall, we have to be thrilled to what are seeing from him these days.
- Congrats to Carmelo Anthony for breaking the Knicks record for consecutive 20 points games with his 30th one tonight. He has been a player this season that has been so much fun to watch and he is the best player this team has had since Ewing in his prime. If having him perform at this high level is the basketball gods rewarding us for what we went through during the Layden-Isiah-Early D’Antoni days, then they have done a nice job apologizing.
- The Magic have lost Glen Davis for awhile against after he broke his foot and Aaron Afflalo is out as well, which makes things tough on them. All three games against them have shown me two things. One, they have pieces that with time and maybe more talent around them, can be built into a consistent winner. Two, as they are today, they can’t finish games and it doesn’t shock me they have fallen on such hard times this year. The Magic are going to have a top pick in the lottery this year, they have had success getting #1 in the past, maybe they can pull it off again and speed up the rebuild.
- Coach Woodson mentioned that the three guys out tonight are the guys that are needed more at the end of the season than now. He mentioned that the team we saw tonight will be the team that we can see now and into the future. If they play like they did tonight, I will sign up to watch and root for a team like this one.
So the Knicks have now won three of their last four and five of their last seven games and with the schedule in their favor until the All-Star break, things are looking good. Certainly, things can get better and the defense still needs a little bit of fine tuning, but if the offensive can come close to the level they played at tonight, more wins are going to come. Good win tonight, but now a potential first round preview will be upon us on Friday as the Bucks come to town. With Jennings and Ellis in their backcourt, it will be interesting to see how the Knicks deal with them defensively.
Coming up next the Knicks will try to ward off the curse that is Robert Randolph and the Family Band as they will welcome in Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis and the Milwaukee Bucks. The game is on Friday at 7:30 pm and can be seen on MSG.