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Magic Come Up Clutch in Thrilling Victory Over Knicks

Josh Cohen
Digital News Manager

The Lead

For the second time in a row at Madison Square Garden, the Orlando Magic made more clutch plays than the New York Knicks. A Franz Wagner driving AND-1 dunk with 1:45 left put Orlando ahead and stifling Magic defense from there helped secure their 104-98 victory.

Clutch Moments

The Wagner dunk wasn’t the only big play of the night. A couple possessions earlier, Terrence Ross made a breakaway dunk following a steal. Cole Anthony banked in a floater with 1:09 remaining to put the Magic up four and Wendell Carter Jr. off a lob from Jalen Suggs sealed the win with a monster throwdown with 29 ticks left.

Rookie Watch

Suggs started, played 26 minutes, scored 13 points, dished out four assists and collected three steals in his return following a one-game absence due to a sprained right ankle. He missed his first five shots before knocking down five of his last seven, including a breakaway dunk following a steal early in the fourth quarter and a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4:37 left that cut Orlando’s deficit to one.

Key Stats

The Magic’s zone defense really gave the Knicks fits. New York had to settle for an abundance of 3-pointers, many contested. They took 49 of them, second most for the Knicks this season. Keeping New York out on the perimeter also limited them from getting to the free throw line. The Knicks took just 12 foul shots.

Injury Report

Out for Orlando were Michael Carter-Williams (left ankle), Jonathan Isaac (left knee), Markelle Fultz (left knee) and E’Twaun Moore (left knee sprain). For New York, Nerlens Noel (sprained right knee) and Luka Samanic (G League – Two-Way) were unavailable.

Quote of the Night

“Sticking together and trusting each other. That’s what we had talked about this morning when we had our film (session). Just believing in each other. Making the right play and having the faith that a teammate will knock down the shot or make the right play as well. We withstood their punches and we stuck to our gameplan. We kept things rolling…Overall, a great team win. Proud of all the guys and we (need to) start building off this.” - Suggs

Rivals Report

Through the early portion of the season, the Knicks have shown to be a team that plays harder, tougher, and sharper against upper-tier competition. Some of their victories have come against the Celtics, 76ers (twice), Bucks, and Bulls. But that effort hasn’t been consistent, particularly against opponents with below .500 records. Strange is that some of their strengths from last season have been weaknesses this year and some of their weaknesses have been strengths. For instance, last year they ranked 21st in 3-pointers made. Currently, they are fifth. Conversely, a year ago they were first in opponent 3-point percentage. Right now, they are 23rd.

This Day in History

On Nov. 17, 2018, Nikola Vucevic tallied 36 points and 13 rebounds and D.J. Augustin recorded 22 points to lift the Magic past LeBron James and the Lakers at Amway Center. This victory was part of a stretch in which Orlando won five out of six. One of those wins came at MSG against the Knicks.

Up Next

The Magic stay in New York, but their next game will be in the borough of Brooklyn, where they will clash with the Nets on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Orlando and Brooklyn played a week ago at Amway Center, with the Nets coming out on top behind a dazzling 30-point, 11-of-12 shooting performance from Kevin Durant. James Harden notched a triple-double that night, his third of the season. The Nets beat the Cavs on Wednesday. Harden led the way with 27 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.