New York 94, Orlando 86

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 3 (AP) -- The New York Knicks have been talking about Eddy Curry as an All-Star-caliber player, and now the Orlando Magic are, too.

Curry, passed over when the All-Star reserves were announced last week, was definitely the star against the Magic, scoring 27 points, most of them on brute force alone, to lead New York to a 94-86 victory Saturday night.

"Eddy showed tonight he should have been on the All-Star team,'' Knicks forward David Lee said.

But Curry didn't, probably because the Knicks are well below .500.

"I was upset I didn't make the All-Star team because I felt with the season I was having, I should have been there,'' Curry said.

Added teammate Jamal Crawford: "Eddy's one of the best centers in the league and the more we win, the more he'll be acknowledged.''

The 6-foot-11, 285-pound Curry hit 10 of 13 shots against a variety of defenses, none of which slowed him from getting to the basket. Orlando tried playing Curry straight up, switched to a zone, then went back to man-to-man, but never found a solution.

"We had no answer for Eddy Curry,'' Magic coach Brian Hill said. "He did pretty much whatever he wanted to do.''

The only way the Magic could stop Curry was to foul, which they did a lot. All-Star center Dwight Howard had five fouls and his backup, Darko Milicic got six trying to deal with Curry.

"He's one of the few guys in this league where you have to change what you do to deal with him,'' said Magic forward Pat Garrity, who was part of the zone defense that failed to stop Curry. "He's just so strong and has such good moves that you can't play him straight up and be successful too much.''

Stephon Marbury had 14 points and six assists for New York, which held Orlando to just 37.7 percent shooting for the game.

Milicic led the Magic with a career-high 19 points. Howard added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Hedo Turkoglu had 13 points, but hit only four of 15 shots.

New York led by 15 points at halftime and maintained a double-digit led through most of the second half until Magic rookie J.J. Redick hit a layup with 1:30 left in the game to cut New York's lead to 91-82.

Howard slammed home a dunk with 57 seconds to play to make it 92-86 and the Magic forced a miss on New York's next possession, but the rally died quickly. Turkoglu misfired from 3-point range and Crawford hit two free throws with 15 seconds to play to finish the scoring.

New York shot 68.8 percent in the second period to open up a 49-34 halftime advantage. Channing Frye scored 13 points in the period, hitting six of eight shots, including a 3-pointer.

The Knicks dominated at the defensive end as well. Jerome James replaced Frye in the starting lineup and helped spark New York's strong defensive effort.

"I think Jerome is one of the best defensive big men in the game in terms of the center position,'' Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "I thought he could give Eddy a little more support.''

Notes: Crawford, averaging 30.4 points in his last five games, scored only six points on 1-of-4 shooting. Howard has never missed a game in his NBA career, a streak of 212 straight games. ... James has played in only 17 games. He had four points and three rebounds in 15 minutes. ... New York shot 50 percent from the field (31-of-62). The Knicks are 11-1 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field. ... Orlando has lost four of its last six home games. ... Knicks F Quentin Richardson narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds.

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