Savage & Cohen: Magic-Knicks Postgame Analysis

By Dan Savage
December 30, 2010

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.”

Dan Savage

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.

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