Magic’s road woes continue in 121-83 loss to New York
NEW YORK (AP) — Make that back-to-back blowouts, and at least one Knick swears he saw it coming.
“Yeah, I knew it was going to eventually happen. I’m glad that it did,” point guard Raymond Felton said. “It was a good night to happen in Brooklyn, then we came back tonight and showed it wasn’t a fluke. That’s what a lot of people were trying to say. We came out tonight to really prove that.”
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They sure did, once again looking more like a juggernaut than a joke.
Carmelo Anthony had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and New York snapped a seven-game home losing streak by beating the Orlando Magic 121-83 on Friday night for its first victory at Madison Square Garden since October.
“We got tired of losing. Whether we figured everything out in two games, that’s yet to come, but we’ll take these two wins,” Anthony said.
Andrea Bargnani and J.R. Smith each added 17 points for the Knicks, who followed their 113-83 rout of Brooklyn on Thursday with an even more powerful performance, giving them consecutive victories for the first time this season after a nine-game losing streak.
“At some point it was going to get unleashed,” Felton said. “Brooklyn was just the team that got the first wrath of it, so everybody else is going to have to feel it later on, too.”
The Knicks hadn’t won at home since beating Milwaukee in their season opener on Oct. 30. The seven-game skid had matched the longest in franchise history, set during the 2007-08 season.
They ended it emphatically, just missing the biggest victory in the NBA this season, the Clippers’ 39-point rout of Chicago on Nov. 24, according to STATS.
“I think the results of their game in Brooklyn carried over to this game,” Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. “They shot the ball extremely well like they did in Brooklyn, so there you have an NBA game for you.”
The Knicks made a season-best 17 3-pointers — a night after hitting 16 — and turned it into another easy night for Anthony, who took only 10 shots one night after attempting only 12.
“I wanted to try to do something a little different to see if it worked,” he said. “Me scoring 30 wasn’t working.”
New York moved ahead of the Nets and out of last place. Despite their struggles, the Knicks (5-13) are only 2 games behind first-place Boston in the pathetic Atlantic Division, and can move even closer when they host the Celtics on Sunday afternoon.
Arron Afflalo scored 20 points for the Magic, who dropped their fourth straight. Victor Oladipo added 17 points and nine rebounds.
Amare Stoudemire sat out for the Knicks, still not ready to play on back-to-back nights after offseason knee surgery. No matter, as Metta World Peace picked up the extra minutes and scored 12 points. Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 15 and Felton had 14.
The Knicks broke it open by outscoring the Magic 30-15 in the third quarter to open a 20-point lead. The highlight came on a ferocious drive and dunk by Iman Shumpert.
Orlando fell to 1-8 on the road, running out to a quick start but then getting run over from there.
The Magic hit six of their first seven shots, including all three 3-pointers, to storm to a 15-5 lead. The Knicks started 2 for 12 but eventually got going and trailed just 31-28 after one.
The Knicks answered with five 3-pointers in the first 4 minutes of the second quarter, going ahead 43-35, and took a 59-54 advantage into halftime.
“They put us in tough situations,” Orlando guard Jameer Nelson said. “We just have to recognize situations and get better at them so it (doesn’t) happen again.”
Nelson was back for Orlando after missing three straight games with a sprained left foot, but leading rebounder Nik Vucevic missed his second in a row with a sprained left ankle.
NOTES: The Knicks’ seven-game winning streak against Orlando is their longest active streak against an opponent. They have beaten Milwaukee six straight times. … Shumpert finished with 10 points and every Knicks player scored.