Recap: Knicks 99, Magic 89

November 13, 2012

Close losses to elite teams are always tough to stomach.

Just as the approaching delectable delight of victory gets your mouth to salivate, the sensation is quickly replaced with the immensely sour taste of defeat.

However, one positive that might help wash away the bitter aftertaste of the Magic’s 99-89 hard-fought loss to the Knicks is a look at the growth of Orlando’s rookies, who took a step forward on Tuesday.

Maurice Harkless put together his best game as an NBA player, notching 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots, while going a scorching 5-for-7 from the field.

He even invited perennial All-Star Carmelo Anthony to his own personal block party.

“Carmelo actually talked to me the night I got drafted and he gave me a few words of advice,” Harkless explained. “I’m going out there guarding him and he’s one of the ones I looked up to. It just gave me extra fuel to try and stop him.”

But Harkless was not the only youngster to have a fine night.

After a few up-and-down contests, Andrew Nicholson put the skills that made him the No. 19 overall selection by Orlando in the 2012 NBA Draft on display.

“Andrew is truly a student of wanting to learn and he approaches that way every single day in practice and it’s great to see from a rookie,” Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn said. “He’s just absorbing everything and it’s been tough for him.”

Nicholson finished the night with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the field.
"I'm not using the excuse, 'we're a young team, we're not experienced enough.' We're a good team; we know the things that we need to know right now to win. This is going to make us better. But at the same time, I don't want to lose, point blank." - Glen Davis.
This Statline of the Night goes to the Orlando Magic's offense. Through quality ball movement, seven players scored in double figures: J.J. Redick (18 points), Arron Afflalo (13), Nikola Vucevic (12), E'Twaun Moore (12), Andrew Nicholson (11), Glen Davis (10) and Maurice Harkless (10).
Photo courtesy of Fernando Medina. | Photo Gallery




Follow Dan Savage on Twitter here