Indeed it was a revenge game.
The Orlando Magic, after losing by 25 to the Knicks on Friday, responded in impressive fashion with a 110-104 win at Madison Square Garden for their first victory of the season.
While it was one of the members of the young core who kept Orlando in it early (Cole Anthony), it was their veteran who closed it out late (Terrence Ross). All combined, it gave Jamahl Mosley the first W of his head coaching career.
Ross, after taking just two shots and going scoreless through the first three quarters on Sunday, scored 22 points in the fourth to help the Magic erase what was a six-point deficit heading into the quarter.
Ross scored five points as the Magic opened the fourth on a 12-0 run, capped when Moe Wagner beat Obi Toppin off dribble and threw down a monster one-handed dunk that gave the Magic an 86-80 lead.
Ross never let the Knicks get much closer, responding to each bucket and scoring 10 straight Magic points over one stretch. He scored 22 of the Magic’s 36 points in the fourth.
Anthony started the game in similar fashion, scoring 15 points in the first quarter while hitting four of his five attempts from deep. All while his mother and little brother were seated front row in Spike Lee’s seats.
FOUR 3-pointers in the first quarter for Cole ‼ pic.twitter.com/bmMmHaK5Md— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) October 24, 2021
Anthony was the only member of the Magic connecting from deep early on as the rest of the team combined to go just 1-for-11 in the opening quarter. The Knicks, meanwhile, picked up where they left off Friday night when they set a franchise record with made threes in a game with 24. Eight of their first 10 shots came from deep and they went on to make 7 of 13 in the quarter to take a 29-27 lead after one.
It was a night and day performance for a Magic team that trailed by 20 in the first on Friday. Jalen Suggs came out aggressive scoring six quick points and making some pretty feeds, one of which was to fellow rookie Franz Wagner, who made a series of perfect and well-timed cuts to the basket throughout...
It looked like the game was on the verge of getting away from the Magic in the second when turnovers began to pile up, shots stopped falling and the Knicks went on a 15-0 run to open a 47-34 lead. But the young and shorthanded Magic responded with a 10-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to 49-46. That stretch was capped by a Franz Wagner breakaway dunk and then a three off a feed from his brother Moe.
The Magic went into the half trailing 57-52. They briefly took the lead midway through the third before the Knicks closed the quarter strong to build a nine-point lead. Moe Wagner drained a three with 15 seconds left in the quarter to pull the Magic within 80-74 heading into the fourth.
That was where the Human Torch, silent to that point, took over. And the Knicks, after a record-breaking performance from deep, struggled to convert after the first this time around, finishing just 13 -for-48.
Anthony finished with what was perhaps the top all-around game of his career with 29 points, a career-high 16 rebounds (for a generously-listed 6-foot-2 point guard), eight assists and just one turnover in 35 minutes.
Cole Anthony tonight:— StatMuse (@statmuse) October 25, 2021
He joins Steph, Harden, Luka, Westbrook and Manu as the only guards in NBA history with a 25/15/5 & 5+ 3PT stat line. pic.twitter.com/uzYYHRhofr
Suggs, who shot 3 of 9 from the field, had 11 points and three assists.Franz Wagner had 10 points and seven rebounds. Wendell Carter Jr. added 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Mo Bamba posted another double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
And the Magic responded to what had been a dismal start to the season with an encouraging, feel-good win on the road against a playoff team that they should be proud of.