Following a tough late loss on Friday night agains the Toronto Raptors, the Orlando Magic returned to action against the New York Knicks in their final home game of the 2014/15 season. The Magic and Knicks played in one of the worst games of the entire season, with the Knicks prevailing late, 80-79.
The visitors got things going early, having their way with the Magic in the first quarter, thanks to strong play from big man Cole Aldrich. Aldrich, who came into the game with a career-high of 18, scoring 14 of the Knicks' 30 first quarter points. The Magic struggled to get anything going on the offensive end, despite taking good care of the ball. Orlando made just 9-of-24 from the field, and 1-of-5 from beyond the arc, falling behind by as many as 10 to the bottom feeding Knicks. Aldrich's 14 led all scorers, with Victor Oladipo's nine leading the Magic.
In the second quarter, the two conference foes combined to make NBA history. With the Knicks score eight points in the quarter, and the Magic seven, the two combined for the fewest points in a single quarter in NBA history, breaking the previous record of 18. Neither team could make anything, going a combined 6-of-39 in the quarter with nine turnovers, seven of which came from the Magic. Orlando's seven points in the quarter tied their franchise record for fewest points in a quarter as well, with the team doing so against the Detroit Pistons in 1996. Aldrich's 16 points and 10 rebounds led everyone at the half, with Oladipo's 13 leading the lowly Magic at the half.
Out of halftime, the two teams remembered how to score, well, kinda. After making NBa history in the second, the two sides all but made sure they wouldn't break the record for fewest points in a single game -- 119, done in 1955 by Milwaukee and Boston -- by combining for 41 points in the quarter. Despite finally being able to score, the Magic looked completely flat still, failing to get to 50-50 balls and allowing the Knicks easy looks many possessions. Tobias Harris carried the Magic's struggling offense in the quarter, scoring 10 of the teams 19 third quarter points to push his total to 15 for the game. Oladipo's 17 led all scorers, with Aldrich's 16 continuing to lead the Knicks.
Down 11 in their final home game of the season, the Magic were forced to attempt to make a comeback against the lowly Knicks. Sparked by veteran Willie Green, the Magic staged a furious comeback to take the lead for the first time since the early minutes with just under five minutes remaining. After the Knicks took the lead back briefly, the Magic grabbed it back thanks to baskets from both Nikola Vucevic and Oladipo. Aldrich tied the game at 73 after an and-1 before the two traded misses. Elfrid Payton scored to put the Magic up, but the Knicks answered the next time down, tying it right back up. Following a Magic timeout and a subsequent miss, Tim Hardaway Jr. was fouled by Vucevic. The second-year guard calmly knocked down the paid to give the Knicks a two point lead with nearly 42 seconds remaining. A bucket from Oladipo tied the game back up at 77 once again with just over 33 seconds remaining. Hardaway Jr. answered with a three, to put the Knicks up three with 12.6 seconds remaining. The Magic missed a three with Vucevic putting in the miss for two.
Four Knicks finished in double figures, led by Aldrich's career-high 19 points and 14 rebounds. Jason Smith added 14, with Lou Amundson adding 11 off the bench. Hardaway Jr. rounded out the group, finishing with 13, including the game-wining three.
The host Magic also had four finish in double figures, led by Oladipo's game-high 21. Harris scored 15, with Vucevic notching his 44th double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Green added 11 off the bench, to round out the group.