After fading late in a loss to the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night, the Orlando Magic finished their brief three game road trip back where it started, in New York, this time against the New York Knicks. The Magic were able to squeak out a narrow victory late, beating the Knicks 97-95.
Much like Tuesday night against the Raptors, the Magic got off to a blazing start, knocking down 10-of-16 from the field in the quarter. Despite their quick start, they weren't able to gap themselves from the Knicks, giving up 27 points in the quarter. Once again, Evan Fournier got the Magic going early, knocking down 5-of-6 from the field for 15 points in the quarter. Carmelo Anthony and Shane Larkin led the way for the Knicks, finishing with seven apiece in the quarter.
After a hot start, the Magic didn't let off the gas in the second quarter. Behind 10 points late in the quarter by Tobias Harris, the Magic were able to push their lead up to a game high six just before the halftime break. Orlando was able to take care of the ball in the first half, turning it over just five times. They were also able to convert when they got to the free throw line, making 11-of-14 from the charity stripe in the half. The Magic were able to squeak out a victory late, taking down the Knicks 97-95.
Out of halftime, the Magic pushed their lead up to 10 quickly, prompting a timeout by the Knicks. Out of that timeout, the Knicks looked like a different team, going on a 16-4 run to wrestle the lead away from the Magic midway through the quarter. Behind a 10 point quarter from Anthony, the Knicks were able to full turn the tables, taking a two point lead into the final quarter.
Going into the fourth quarter, it was either team's for the taking. With Anthony in foul trouble, the Magic were able to take advantage, grabbing a lead while he was on the bench. Needing to make free throws late to seal the game, Fournier made a pair to push the lead to four before Anthony made a three to cut it to one. Back at the line, Fournier split a pair, giving the Knicks a chance to tie or win the game with just 3.5 seconds left. J.R. Smith's attempt went wide, and the Magic walked away with their third win of the season.
The Magic were once again led by the trio of Fournier, Harris, and Nikola Vucevic. Fournier led all scorers with a season, and career high 28 points. Vucevic notched another double-double, finishing with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Harris was the final Magic man in double figures, finishing with 12 on the night.
Despite his best efforts, Anthony's 27 points weren't enough for the Knicks. Smith chipped in 19 off the bench. Iman Shumpert and Jason Smith finished with 10 apiece, rounding out the Knicks in double figures.