The Knicks came up short Wednesday night, ending their three game winning streak and losing to the Orlando Magic 107-89. The Knicks’ offense was stagnant, only shooting 37.9% from the field. They missed 15 straight field goals in the third quarter and scored two points in a seven minute span.
The night started out like a redux of their Monday night win over Atlanta. The Knicks outscored the Magic 32-23 in the first quarter as Julius Randle sunk three three-pointers. He finished the game with 25 points and seven rebounds. New York’s shooting fell apart as the game progressed. They scored 33 points in the second half.
The Magic shot abnormally well tonight, making 47.1% of their three pointers compared to their season average of 34.6%. The Knicks shot 25.9% from three.
Too much Vu
Nikola Vucevic continued an All Star campaign of his own, scoring 16 points while racking up 16 rebounds. On the year he is averaging 23.7 points and 11.4 rebounds. The Knicks double teamed Vucevic for much of the game, limiting the big man’s three point shooting. But, that allowed his teammates to capitalize on open looks.
Terence Ross led the Magic off the bench, scoring 30 points and five three pointers. In his first game in the lineup since missing two weeks with back spasms, Evan Fourneir scored 19 points with three three pointers. Dwayne Bacon sunk three threes of his own, overwhelming the Knicks unusually sloppy defense tonight.
New York’s second unit was silent, as Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickly combined to shoot 2-22. “Normally our bench is a big plus for us,” Coach Tom Thibediou said in his post game press conference. “We didn’t challenge shots the way we should have; They got going and it’s hard to turn them off.” Despite his poor play from the field tonight, Quickly was 7-7 from the free throw line, where he is shooting a phenomenal 94%.
On the bright side
RJ Barrett was a bright spot for the Knicks. He racked up 15 points and seven rebounds in only 27 minutes.
Thibideou continued to give Barrett inconsistent floor time, as he’s played less than 30 minutes five times in his last six games. When asked why Barrett and starting Point Guard Elfrid Payton remained on the bench for much of the second half, Thibideou said “We were in such a hole and [we tried] to find a way out. Those guys started to make a run and I wanted to see where it would go once we got it to 10. It didn’t go anywhere.”
The Knicks would have benefited from more Barrett’s tonight. He was looking consistent in getting to the line and his defensive aggression would have been essential in stopping Orlando’s shooting.
The Knicks will have some extra time to recuperate, as their Saturday game against the San Antonio Spurs is canceled due to Contract Tracing protocols. They’ll next play #1 overall pick Anthony Edwards and the last place Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday at 7:00pm.
Vs Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday, February 21st at 4:00PM Pacific
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