Magic hold off Knicks 110-103
Apologies for not getting this up sooner... Contact me for a full refund. Stan Van Gundy appeared to be having an aneurysm for most of the fourth quarter as he scowled, stomped and waddled on the sideline. The Magic saw a 15-point lead shrink down to two, and the game's pattern was eerily close to when the Magic held off the Knicks in a 115-109 win last month. Hedo Turkoglu (20 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds) saw to it that the Magic wouldn't lose with a couple of timely 3-pointers. An old Magic killer I thought we were past this, Magic. Quentin Richardson, a Magic killer from the mid-2000s, came out of nowhere to score 33 points last night. His production helped make up for a pathetic showing from starting guard Larry Hughes (14 minutes, 0 points, 3 turnovers). Richardson hit a couple of 3-pointers and was able to penetrate against the Magic. He took advantage of Dwight Howard missing some time with foul trouble. Picking up the slack Howard played only 30 minutes because of foul trouble, and it was encouraging how the rest of the team picked up the slack. Rashard Lewis played his best game of recent memory, Turkoglu controlled the tempo, Rafer Alston played well and Courtney Lee worked on defense for more than 41 minutes. Marcin Gortat gobbled up eight rebounds in relief of Howard. There was a lot not to like in this game - letting the Knicks hang around and come back, the Magic shooting 34 3-pointers, getting outrebounded by nine - but overall it was a nice showing for this team to pull out the victory at home. MAGIC'S BEST: Rashard Lewis, a recent regular in the Magic's worst segment, finally found the jumper that has been missing over the past several weeks. Lewis made 4-of-10 from deep and 7-of-8 on two-pointers. Seven of eight from two-pointers. Lewis took it to the hoop several times, and it worked. I love it. MAGIC'S WORST: Mickael Pietrus was -19 in 11 minutes. That's almost hard to do. MP may be the most inconsistent player I have ever seen. DEFENDING DWIGHT: Surprisingly, the Knicks did a lot of bumping and shoving down low, and it seemed to affect Howard. He was able to get up only eight shots in the 15-point, 7-rebound performance. The Magic had trouble getting the ball to Howard, and they seemed to kind of give up on the post game. Howard fouled out late in the game after playing 30 minutes. TELLING STATISTIC: Even with David Lee out with sore knees, the Knicks grabbed 17 offensive rebounds. The second chances were a big reason they were able to stay in the game (and Q's 33 didn't help).