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Knicks 99, Magic 89

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO -- The New York Knicks remained the only unbeaten team in the NBA, beating the Orlando Magic 99-89 Tuesday night with a dominating fourth-quarter performance.

The Knicks (5-0) are off to their best start since 1993, when they won their first seven games. The Magic (2-5) lost its fifth consecutive game.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points to lead the Knicks. Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith added 21 apiece.

The Magic, led by J.J. Redick with 18 points, had seven players score in double figures.

Orlando played well for three quarters, but it faded down the stretch. The Magic scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter, when it committed seven turnovers and made only five of 16 shots.

The Knicks came into the game as the stingiest team in the league, allowing the fewest points (87.5 points per game) while averaging the most steals (10.25 per game). However, they struggled to contain the Magic until it counted the most.

The Knicks, who trailed at halftime, led 77-76 going into the final period. Smith scored 12 points in the third quarter to spark the Knicks.

Knicks center/forward Rasheed Wallace missed all five of his 3-point attempts in his 15 minutes.

The Magic spent much of the fourth quarter with two rookies (Maurice Harkins and Andrew Nicholson) on the court against the veteran-loaded Knicks.

Orlando led 53-49 at intermission, riding a surprising start from unheralded reserve Harkless, who had 10 points and five rebounds in 12 first-half minutes. Harkless, who was averaging just 2.3 points this season, gave the Magic a spark with his hustle in the second quarter.

The Knicks led by as many as 10 points early in the second period. Anthony has 16 points before halftime, but he also got his third technical foul of the season for badgering an official on back-to-back calls.

The Magic dominated around the basket early, holding a 25-16 rebounding edge and a 34-20 points-in-the-paint advantage at intermission.

NOTES: The Magic entered the night with the league's worst offense, averaging only 87.8 points per game. ... The game was delayed for eight minutes between the first and second quarters when a woman on the Magic stunt team, performing at center court, took a hard fall on her head and neck. She had to be carried off on a stretcher. ... The Knicks have not started a season with four consecutive victories since 1993. ... Magic coach Jacque Vaughn is not only the youngest coach in the league at age 37, but he also is younger than four players on the Knicks' roster. He was teammates with three of them, Kurt Thomas, Wallace and Jason Kidd. He never played with Marcus Camby, who also is older than him. ... Magic point guard Jameer Nelson, who is recovering from hamstring and groin injuries, missed his sixth consecutive game. "I'm sure he thinks he's ready to play, but I want him for the whole season, so we're just being careful," Vaughn said. ... The Knicks play Thursday night in San Antonio, where they have lost nine consecutive games to the Spurs. ... The Anthony/Arron Afflalo matchup at forward was interesting because they were teammates in Denver just two seasons ago.
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