ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic (22-33) lost to the New York Knicks (30-26) in front of the 3rd largest crown in Amway Center history, 19,438 fans.
The Magic are coming off of a streak of wins on the road, after beating Minnesota and Charlotte. New York is coming off of an impressive win over the Sixers before coming down to face the Magic.
Before the game, the Orlando Magic, the team that no one had any expectations of and the team that is mentioned very little in the national media, that Orlando Magic tea, was 2.5 games out of the play in spot fr the playoffs.
This match up against the surging New York Knicks, who are currently in the number seven spot in the playoffs.
Orlando got off to a good start, building to a 14-2 lead, their largest of the game. New York worked their way back into the game, finishing the first quarter down 26-22.
The Knicks managed to hang close to the magic into the fourth quarter, where they came through in the clutch with key offensive rebounds and clutch play.
The Magic were lead in scoring by Markelle Fultz with 21 points and 6 assists. The big men for the Magic, Franz Wagner, (18 points) , and Wendell Carter (13 points) had tier hands full with Julius Randle (22 points, 14 rebounds) as well as Jalen Brunson with a game high 25 points. Brunson did a good amount of damage late in thre fourth quarter.
Paolo Banchero was held in check in the first half as Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau’s scheme proved to be effective in taking away one of Orlando’s biggest weapons.
Magi head coach Jamahl Mosley changed tactics in the 3rd quarter, having Banchero go into attack mode, driving into the paint and using his power to score on the inside, resulting in his 16 points in the game.
Both teams were pretty close in the stats, both with 11 turnovers, 413 and 41 rebounds for the Knicks and Magic, and Orlando even go more points in the pain vs New York.
It was a the little mistakes in the send that allowed the Knicks to get to a 3 point lead with seconds left. The poor 3-point shooting by Orlando vs the Knicks also made a difference.
Orlando is getting closer and closer to their dreams of a playoff berth. There just needs to e more tweaking and more experience intros playoff-like atmosphere.
As the year continues with the 27 games left, Orlando may get more and more lessons in those fields.
Orlando gave the Denver Nuggets on Thursday February 7th at 7pm at the Amway Center.