Notebook: Knicks 114, Magic 106



Posted Jan 5, 2013 11:28 PM

By Dick Scanlon, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Carmelo Anthony scored 40 points to help the New York Knicks come back from a torrid start by the Orlando Magic and post a 114-106 victory Saturday night.

The Knicks (23-10) pulled away in the final minutes to hand the Magic (12-21) their eighth-straight loss.

J.R. Smith, who came off the bench for 18 points, put the Knicks ahead to stay with a 10-foot jump shot with 5:14 left, and Anthony's 16-footer with 1:05 remaining settled the issue.

Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson scored 29 points each for Orlando while Nikola Vucevic had 11 points and 18 rebounds.

THE STAT: Anthony had 16 points in the fourth quarter, one fewer than the Magic.

QUOTABLE: "[Anthony is] probably the best scorer in the world right now . . . If I knew something to do, I'd have done it. So would every other person in the NBA."

-- Forward Josh McRoberts, one of the Magic players assigned to defending Anthony.

TURNING POINT: Amar'e Stoudemire, who played less than 17 minutes in his third game of the season, opened the fourth quarter with a three-point play. That started a 14-6 Knicks spurt that tied the game.

QUOTABLE II: "We were down coming into the fourth and we held them to 17 points. That's the sign of a team that didn't want to lose, picked it up defensively and did what they to do offensively to make plays."

-- Knicks coach Mike Woodson

HOT: The Magic made 11 of their first 13 shots to lead 25-13, their biggest lead of the game.

QUOTABLE III: "In the first quarter, they came out scorching-hot. They made a lot of shots. In the second quarter, we kind of buckled down and held them to 19 points. In the third quarter, they made shots and had some momentum going. In the fourth, we buckled down again, so it seemed like when it was time to really buckle down and win the basketball game, we did."

-- Carmelo Anthony

NOT: The Magic shot 7-for-24 and J.J. Redick missed six 3-point shots (he is 20-for-71 in his last eight games).

GOOD MOVE: The Knicks went to Anthony repeatedly down the stretch, recognizing that he was feeling it and that the Magic players defending him were getting no help.

BAD MOVE: Knicks rookie Pablo Prigioni complained about not getting a call, went down to the other end complaining, then complained all the way back up the floor as he was handling the ball.

ADVICE TO PABLO: That doesn't work -- and it may even backfire -- when the officials don't know who you are.

IN THE ARENA: Stoudemire treated 30 kids from his hometown of Lake Wales, one hour away from Orlando, to tickets and a chartered bus ride to the game.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: No word yet on when Stoudemire will get back in the starting lineup. "We've just got to take it a day at a time with him," Woodson said. "He'll be fine. He'll be back to his old self soon."

ROOKIE WATCH: Magic rookie Andrew Nicholson scored 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting . . . Prigioni had five points and two assists in 14 minutes.

NOTABLE: Nelson did not score in the fourth quarter . . . The Magic will have to beat a winning team on the road (Portland, Denver or L.A. Clippers) to avoid a double-digit losing streak.

UP NEXT: For the Knicks, Monday vs. Boston, Thursday @ Indiana, Friday vs. Chicago. For the Magic, Monday at Portland, Wednesday @ Denver, Saturday @ L.A. Clippers.