FINAL: ORLANDO MAGIC 112, NEW YORK KNICKS 103


GameNight Specifics
NBA Coverage: Game Info
Date: Thursday, Dec. 30
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Amway Center (Orlando, FL)
Radio: AM 580 WDBO, AM 1270 WRLZ
Television: TNT



PROJECTED MATCHUPS

LINEUPS MAY CHANGE BY GAME TIME


TEAM
PG
SG
C
PF
SF
R
R
KNICKS
Raymond Felton

Landry Fields

Amar'e Stoudemire

Danilo Gallinari

Wilson Chandler

Toney Douglas

Ronny Turiaf
MAGIC
Jameer Nelson

Jason Richardson

Dwight Howard

Brandon Bass

Hedo Turkoglu

Gilbert Arenas

J.J. Redick





















GAME RECAP


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Dwight Howard laughs at the idea his demeanor has changed dramatically.

"One year, I'm smiling too much," he said. "Now I'm the bad boy."

Orlando will take the good with the bad for now.

Howard had 24 points and 18 rebounds in a bruising battle with Amare Stoudemire, and the Magic beat the New York Knicks 112-103 on Thursday night for their fifth straight victory.

Howard also picked up his NBA-leading 12th technical foul - he'll be suspended for one game if he gets 16, then an additional game for every two technical fouls after that - with more than half the season remaining. The NBA has tried to crack down on players arguing or overreacting this season.

But Magic coach Stan Van Gundy believes his star center is being singled out.

"I don't think he's any harder on officials than anybody else in the league," Van Gundy said. "I don't think even think he's one of the hardest guys on officials, quite honestly. I could probably give you 20 guys who are a lot harder on officials than he is. Why he's been the guy to get all the technicals, I don't know. But there are a lot of guys around the league who are a lot harder on officials, yell at them, swear and everything else and get away with it."

Well, not everybody.

Stoudemire finished with 30 points, four rebounds and four assists - and received his 10th technical foul - but got into foul trouble early in a matchup of two of the NBA's best big men. Both never shied away from contact and showed more offensive prowess than defensive pressure.

"I thought we were really feeding off each other," Stoudemire said. "If I didn't get in foul trouble, it would have been a different game for sure."

Howard also had more help.

J.J. Redick and Ryan Anderson had 14 points apiece, helping the Magic build a 20-point lead before halftime and hold on late. New York trimmed the deficit to two in the fourth quarter before the Magic pulled away for good.

Wilson Chandler had 29 points and Shawne Williams added 15 for the Knicks, who have lost five of seven.

This was the first meeting in the season series between the teams; their Nov. 2 game at Madison Square Garden was postponed because of safety concerns after debris fell into the arena during overnight cleaning of asbestos-related materials. The Magic were already in New York and had to fly back.

Maybe it was worth the wait.

Howard grabbed his own rebound late in the game and dunked over Stoudemire, who was late getting over to the play. Stoudemire answered on the next possession, converting a three-point play over Howard to cut Orlando's lead to 98-96 and pumping his chest in celebration.

A few plays later, Hedo Turkoglu made a 3-pointer over Stoudemire. Then Howard hit a pair of free throws and Orlando was ahead by nine with a minute left. And just for an exclamation point, Howard added a three-point play over Stoudemire in the final minute that brought fans to their feet.

"It was fun to watch those two," Magic forward Ryan Anderson said.

The two big men seemed to rise to the challenge and weren't shy about being physical.

Howard was called for the technical foul in the first quarter for arguing with officials. At one point, Stoudemire even shoved Howard in the post and clapped his hands after Stoudemire was whistled for a foul.

The words were often too much and officials did everything they could to control play. Stoudemire picked up a technical foul in the second quarter after banging bodies with Howard and taunting Gilbert Arenas.

"I told him to get that mess out of here," Stoudemire said. "And I got a tech."

After Stoudemire got his third foul with almost six minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Magic went on a 23-10 run led by Howard to go ahead 62-42. By the time New York recovered, it was too late.

Stoudemire also picked up his fifth foul midway through the fourth quarter to crush New York's rally.

"When Amare has five fouls already it's hard to get size out on the court," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said. "Dwight Howard is going to be bigger in size so we have to figure out another way to beat team."

NOTES: Magic assistant coach and former Knicks center Patrick Ewing was asked before the game if anything had changed in his hopes of becoming an NBA head coach. "I'm still waiting on that call," he said. ... Stoudemire, who was a high school star in the Orlando area, was cheered during pregame introductions. ... Magic backup SG Quentin Richardson was sent home with flulike symptoms.




SAVAGE & COHEN'S POSTGAME ANALYSIS VS. KNICKS


The new-look Orlando Magic have only played together for seven games, but it appears they’ve already discovered the secret to winning close contests.

Seven Magic players scored in double figures as Orlando managed to get defensive stops down the stretch and once again used a balanced offensive attack to hold off the New York Knicks for a 112-103 home victory on Thursday.

“I liked the way that we finished the game out,” Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy explained. “I thought we did a good job there. They’re a very difficult team to play.”

Dwight Howard delivered a phenomenal performance, erupting for team-highs in points (24), rebounds (18) and blocks (4) to help offset a 30-point effort from Knicks center Amar’e Stoudemire.

“Dwight is a guy that gets the ball deep into the paint,” said Stoudemire. “He is strong. Once he gets the ball that low in the paint it is tough to stop him. He is pretty tough down there.”

The triumph marked the fifth straight win for Orlando, which scored over 100 points for the fourth time during that span.

“I think that we’re becoming a very unselfish team,” said Ryan Anderson, who poured in 14 points. “We’re learning what each other can do and we’re passing the ball. We’re definitely just looking for each other’s shots and creating openings.”

Hedo Turkoglu once again was a difference maker for the Magic in the fourth quarter, posting eight of his 17 points in the final frame.

None of his buckets was more critical than a clutch trey with 2:21 left in the contest that put the Magic up seven and the game practically out of reach.

If the Knicks had any life left, they final nail in their coffin was pounded in by J.J. Redick, who drained a turnaround jump shot with 50.2 seconds left to give Orlando a 10-point lead. Redick finished with 14 points off the pine.

“I think we’re playing at a faster pace,” the backup shooting guard explained. “It’s more energy and I think that was the thinking behind the trade was to give us new life.”

Orlando’s energy will once again be tested next Monday when it battles the high-paced Golden State Warriors at Amway Center.

But before we close out the 2010 portion of the season, let’s take a look at what went right, what went wrong and final observations from the Magic’s win over the Knicks.

READ ENTIRE ANALYSIS





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