The New York Knicks defeated the Orlando Magic, 114-106, Saturday night, extending Orlando's season-long losing streak to eight games.
It was a tale of four quarters at the Amway Center, where both teams waxed and waned through each successive frame. Orlando won the first quarter by nine, New York won the second by 13, Orlando won the third by 12 and New York won the fourth by 16.
The Knicks trailed by as many as eight in the fourth but quickly erased the Magic's lead with a 15-6 run that put them ahead by one. Orlando stayed close up until the end, but from there, the Knicks would never trail again.
New York was led, as it has been all season, by Carmelo Anthony, who scored 40 points in a rugged 45 minutes. Jason Kidd filled up the box score with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists; Tyson Chandler added a double-double; and Amar'e Stoudemire pitched in with 11 off the bench—his second consecutive game in double figures.
Orlando got big performances from Jameer Nelson and Aaron Afflalo, both of whom scored 29 points, along with Nikola Vucevic, who tallied 18 rebounds.
New York moves to 23-10 with the win, mere percentage points behind Miami for first place in the Eastern Conference. The loss drops Orlando to 12-21, four games behind Boston for the conference's final playoff spot.
Player of the Game: SF Carmelo Anthony (NY)
Melo's MVP campaign gained even more steam on Saturday. He was incredibly efficient en route to 40 points, shooting a shade under 50 percent from the field (14-of-29), knocking down four three-pointers and going 8-of-9 from the stripe.
He also grabbed six rebounds and dished out a season-high six assists—four more than his season average.
This was Carmelo's second 40-point game of the new year (he scored 45 vs. Portland four nights ago) and the fifth time he's scored 30-plus in his last seven games.
What's Next for the Knicks?
New York flies back to the Big Apple, where it'll host the Boston Celtics on Monday. After that comes back-to-back games against Indiana and Chicago, the two best teams in the Central division.
What's Next for the Magic?
Orlando's schedule doesn't get any easier, as it heads to Portland for the start of a four-game road trip. After the Blazers, the Magic will play at Denver and Los Angeles (the Clippers) before heading back east for a game at Washington.