The Magic look to build on their best offensive performance of the season when they host the Knicks on Saturday.
Orlando (25-22) is averaging 93.9 points in 2006-07, fourth-fewest in the league, but scored its most points of the season in a 119-86 win over the New Jersey Nets on Friday. The Magic also shot a season-best 62.5 percent (45-for-72) from the floor and hit 7 of 14 3-point attempts as they won by their largest margin of the year.
They surpassed 100 points for the 12th time this season and the first time in nine games, but said it all started on the other end of the floor.
“This game was all about defense and what we took away from them,” said Hedo Turkoglu, who led seven Orlando players in double figures with 22 points. “We didn’t let New Jersey do what they wanted to do or go where they wanted to go and that led to some good things for us at the offensive end.”
Orlando held New Jersey’s Jason Kidd without a point and outrebounded the Nets 47-22. The Magic hope for a similar showing against the Knicks in the first meeting between the teams this season.
Orlando took three of the four matchups last season and have won four of the last five overall, surpassing 100 points in each of those wins. The Magic have also defeated the Knicks three straight times at home while averaging 109.0 points.
After a stretch of just one victory in its previous nine games, Orlando is seeking its third consecutive win. The Magic will have to do it without second-leading scorer Grant Hill. The veteran missed Friday’s game and is expected to be sidelined at least two weeks with a sprained right knee.
“Me, Turk, and Jameer (Nelson) had a little talk this morning at the shootaround,” said All-Star center Dwight Howard, who scored 19 points against the Nets. “We got to step up, us three guys because the leader of this team is out.”
The Knicks, who fell 104-87 to the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday, are also dealing with injury woes. Quentin Richardson missed his second game with a sprained right elbow and Jared Jeffries, his replacement in the starting lineup, was held to four points on 1-of-5 shooting. Richardson is listed as probable for this game.
Stephon Marbury was bothered with a sore left knee Wednesday and scored just seven points, going 1-for-7 from the field.
“It was tough going to the basket and doing some of the things I’m capable of doing,” Marbury said. “I didn’t have time to recuperate.”
Jamal Crawford scored 28 points in the defeat, but the Knicks (20-28) shot just 36.4 percent (28-for-77) from the field and were held without a field goal for more than 11 minutes in the second half.
New York has dropped six of its last nine games overall and three straight on the road. Knicks leading scorer Eddy Curry, who scored 15 points Wednesday, is averaging 23.3 points in his last six meetings with the Magic.