On Saturday night at the Amway Center in Orlando, the Knicks (23-10) defeated the Orlando Magic (12-21) by the score of 114-106. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring tonight with 40 points on 14-29 shooting from the floor with six rebounds and a season high six assists. Melo scored 16 points in the fourth quarter.
J.R. Smith scored 18 points off the bench on 8-18 shooting, which broke a five game stretch by Smith of scoring 20+ points. Smith did had six rebounds and was a +20.
Jason Kidd played 35 minutes, scoring 15 points, to go with eight rebounds and seven assists. Tyson Chandler did not miss a shot scoring 14 points, on 6-6 shooting with a team high 12 rebounds.
Jameer Nelson and Aaron Afflalo led the Magic in scoring with 29 points each with Nelson 10-20 shooting and Afflalo 10-14 from the floor. Nelson led with 8 assists, while Afflalo had four. Nelson was held scoreless in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks are now 10-7 this season on the road and 14-3 overall against the Eastern Conference.
This was the Magic’s eighth loss in a row and their fourth consecutive defeat to the Knicks
Carmelo Anthony has scored 20 or more points in 21 straight games, which is the longest such streak of his career.
Orlando scored 70 points combined in the first and third quarters but was held to 36 points in the second and fourth quarter.
The Knicks are now tied atop the Eastern Conference with the Miami Heat.
The Knicks came out tonight and allowed the Orlando Magic to pretty much do whatever they felt like. It was looking very similar to the Kings game and the great win over the Spurs was looking more like an aberration. Then the second quarter, things leveled out, but then the third quarter changed everything back towards Orlando. What would the Knicks, down eight going into the fourth do? Just let the MVP of the NBA dominate like we all know he can and lead the Knicks to a win. This was a game that was just your typical, roller-coaster, game of runs that the Knicks have allowed us to watch at times this season. This time the Knicks, much like the last game against Orlando, asserted their dominance when it counted and the Magic allowed it to happen. This was a solid win ahead of what will be a big week of games coming up.
- Carmelo Anthony really carried the Knicks on his back in the fourth quarter. Josh McRoberts is going to have nightmares about trying to defend Melo. I really have no clue what the Magic were doing when that decision was made, but, it sure helped the Knicks that McRoberts was on Melo in the fourth. Early on, it seemed like Melo was not driving the lane as much and was just settling for jumpers, but that didn’t last for long. His drives to the basket are always welcomed because his ability and strength allow him to finish at the rim successfully more often than not. Melo is the best player the Knicks have had since Ewing in his prime and its fun to watch him have games like he did tonight.
- Jason Kidd was having a lot of trouble defending Jameer Nelson but it certainly did not affect the way he helped the Knicks on offense. A 15-8-7 line with a nail in the coffin three on top of it? Not too bad from the 39 year old. Now it’s hard to expect this kind of performance every game, but the Knicks needed it from Kidd tonight because of the struggles they had at stretches during the game. Felton’s return is still weeks away and more games like this from Kidd will be welcomed with open arms from everyone associated with the Knicks
- Amar’e is still working to get back to the level we have seen him in the past, but the improvement is coming, even if it’s at a slower pace. Slow and steady is not a bad thing, especially for a guy who is not yet fully ready to go. He had his moments tonight that were good and bad. He was getting to the line tonight and did have a couple shots just rim out. The defense is what it is, but as time goes on, it can get better and fall in line with the others. These next three games against the Celtics, Pacers and Bulls are going to give him a nice test for him as he deals with the likes of Garnett, Bass, Hibbert, Noah and Boozer. If he can keep improving, contribute more and more and, stay healthy after next week, things will be looking very good for him.
- J.R. Smith and Steve Novak were a +46 off the bench tonight. They both had nice games off the bench, and the sequence where Novak missed a three, Smith ended up with the rebound, got it back to Novak to make the three, was very smooth. They are the polar opposites in every way and yet they do compliment each other very well. 25 points, eight rebounds off the bench is pretty good and when Amar’e returns to the form we are used to, the bench can be lethal.
- The Magic have fallen off since the Glen “Big Baby” Davis injury, going 0-8 without him after being 12-13 with him. That being said, when he returns, with Vucevic, Harkless, Afflalo and Nelson, that is really not a horrible team. That is a team that I think in the future, with smart draft picks and free agent signings, can be a playoff team in the East, between 6-8. The Magic have a good coach in Jacque Vaughn and with a GM in Rob Hennigan that comes from the Spurs/Thunder model, the future is bright in Orlando.
- Marcus Camby to Tyson Chandler for an alley oop has got to be the tallest combination to perform that play in NBA History.
A solid win against a team that was not going to give up until Carmelo just became too much. Should the Knicks struggle for an extended period of time against the Magic? Not at all, but hey, a win is a win. At the end of the day, the Knicks have Carmelo Anthony and the Magic don’t, which was the difference tonight and can be for the difference in many Knicks games the rest of the way.
Coming up next, the Knicks are back at the Garden, getting their first chance to go up against their rivals in green and white, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics. The game will begin at 7:30 pm on Monday and will be shown on MSG.