Magic beat Knicks 97-73 to end 3-game skid
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 04, 2018 10:05 AM
Orlando Magic forward Mario Hezonja (8) goes up to block a shot by New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee (5) as Orlando Magic center Bismack Biyombo, left, helps out during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 3, 2018, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
By Adry Torres, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — Mario Hezonja scored 19 points, Jamel Artis added 16 off the bench, and the Orlando Magic beat the New York Knicks 97-73 on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time).
Reserve Shelvin Mack had 12 points and Nikola Vucevic had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points and Kyle O'Quinn had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who lost their fourth straight.
The Magic limited the Knicks to 28 points in the second half and won the season series 3-1.
Orlando led by only five with about 10 minutes remaining before blowing open the game aided by an alert play by Artis, who wasn't selected in the 2017 NBA Draft and agreed to a partially guaranteed deal with New York before he was cut after the team's first preseason game.
His steal led to a layup and a pair of free throws made by Rodney Purvis to put the Magic up 74-65 with 8:07 left in the final period. A basket by New York's Luke Kornet made it 74-67 but it was as close as it would get, as Orlando used an 18-6 run capped by a layup from Mack that put them ahead 92-73 with 2:58 left.
Magic: Had 28 assists on 37 of their baskets. ... Khem Birch had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Knicks: Enes Kanter missed his second straight game due to a bruised tailbone. Hornacek mentioned before his team took the court that the 25-year-old center might not play again this season. The Knicks have five games left in their schedule. "I don't know if he'll be back by the end or not," Hornacek said. Kanter, who has a player option for next year, has averaged 14.1 points and 11 rebounds in 71 games this season, his first with New York.
Magic coach Frank Vogel met with former Knicks president Phil Jackson after leading Indiana to the playoffs in five of his six seasons, and thought he would get the job that eventually went to Jeff Hornacek.
"I was surprised that I wasn't," Vogel said before the game. "I interviewed with Phil and Steve Mills and we had a good couple of days together and they said they had one more person they wanted to talk to before they wrapped up the process. But they felt good about it."
Under Vogel, the Magic have missed the playoffs the past two seasons. He praised the job Hornaceck has done despite the team's on-court results.
"Then they met with Jeff and Jeff must have blown them away because they ended up going with Jeff," Vogel added. "And I think that was a good choice because Jeff's a hell of a coach and he's done a hell of a job under a difficult circumstance here."
Magic: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
Knicks: Continue their final homestand of the season Friday (Saturday, PHL time) against the Miami Heat.