Recap: Knicks 114, Magic 106

January 5, 2013

The New York Knicks clearly have their franchise cornerstone.

Owners of one of the premier players in the league, the Knicks have the luxury of turning the game over to Carmelo Anthony in the final minutes and depending on him to win the team a contest. And in the closing moments, the only one who can stop Melo is Melo.

The Magic, meanwhile, are searching for their next star or compellation of talent that allows them to again pursue a championship.

However, in the process are they developing a top-tier backcourt?

Point guard Jameer Nelson has been playing like a man on a mission the last few games, putting Orlando on his back and giving everything he has to break the Magic’s eight-game slide.

“He was trying to will us and that’s great to see and it shows you his growth even though he’s eight nine years in,” Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn said.

Over the last two games, Nelson has fired off 61 points, including a 29-point effort against the Knicks on Saturday.

“It just shows you he cares, he cares for his teammates and he cares for his organization and it’s great to see his leadership,” Vaughn added.

His partner in crime, shooting guard Arron Afflalo, has been equally impressive, not only in his on-court performance, but his leadership characteristics as well.

Afflalo battled through a leg injury in the second half, while going 10-for-14 from the field on his way to 29 points.

“It was just an incredible effort for him to come out in the second half,” Vaughn said. “For him to come out after halftime and play the way he did and give the effort that he did, that’s growth for our team, because our young guys see that.”

Still, this competitive duo will not be satisfied until the Magic are back on the right track.

“Clearly, we have to learn how to win if that makes sense,” Afflalo said. “Coach is doing a great job in terms of the schemes of the game plan, we’re definitely competing hard as players, but we need to learn how to win.”

"I’ve never guarded a wing in high school, college or the NBA and this year I’m getting a pretty big taste of it. It’s not a lot of fun, but I’m trying to do what I can to help us get wins." - Then, Magic forward Josh McRoberts paused and sarcastically added: "I pretty much shut (Carmelo Anthony) down tonight."
This Statline of the Night goes to Nikola Vucevic. Normally an 18-rebound effort would garner a little more attention. However, after pulling down a franchise-record 29 boards earlier in the week, Vucevic set the bar pretty high. He rounded out his box score with 11 points, two assists, one steal and one block.
Photo courtesy of Fernando Medina. | Photo Gallery




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