It is something people have not been able to say as much. In fact the number of times we get to say the Knicks won are few and far between. Last night, the Knicks had an impressive victory at home to give their fans some hope for next season.
After losing two straight games to the Raptors and Pacers, the Knicks bounced back to defeat the Orlando Magic 108-95 last night. Despite an off night shooting against the Pacers, Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with a double double (19 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists).
The Magic lost by 16 to the Warriors behind an astounding 51 points by Stephen Curry on Thursday night and did not seem to be ready for the Knicks one night later. It was a big game for Orlando as the regular season draws to a close and they prepare for the playoffs.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 18 points and slam-dunk finalist Aaron Gordon added 17 points and eight rebounds.
For the Knicks, they have a different mentality. Seven Knicks finished in double figures. Kristaps Porzingis finished with 18 points. Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez, and Arron Afflalo each chipped in with 14.
Calderon had another big game as he made his first five shots for 10 points midway through the first quarter. The Knicks led 32-23 after the first quarter and led 62-44 at the half.
Some may think the Magic were still in shock from Steph Curry scoring on them so much the night before, as the Knicks scored 62 points in the first half alone. The excuses are pouring in about fatigue and frustration, but last night the Knicks were just more ready to play than their opponent.
They have nothing to lose as their playoff chance is gone and they played like a team fighting to finish the season with some dignity. The Knicks played like a team. As Porzingis stated via ESPN News, “everybody was involved. Everybody was attacking. Everybody was trying to be aggressive.”
The lead grew to 24 early in the third before the Magic closed the gap to 82-69 at the start of the fourth. Rookie Porzingis had a dunk to put the Knicks back ahead by 18. The Knicks closed out the game 108-95.
The Knicks (25-35) have moved up to No. 12 in the Eastern Conference Standings. Next they host No. 4 Miami (32-35) tomorrow in their second straight home game. The Knicks are 2-8 in their last ten games as the Heat went 6-4 in their last ten. Tip off is at 7:30 at Madison Square Garden.