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Knicks mesh for victory as Magic loses Davis

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks again showed they have to work on their inconsistent defense. But one of the questions that hovered around them for most of the season is starting to get a positive answer: Tyson Chandler, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire showed another sign they could mesh well.

The trio combined for 55 points in the Knicks' 113-97 win over the reeling Orlando Magic at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

Orlando not only lost its seventh straight game, but announced after the game Glen Davis, the team's second-leading scorer, had broken his foot.

Chandler scored 21 points to lead the Knicks (28-15) in their second straight win. Anthony scored 20 to set a franchise record with his 30th consecutive game scoring 20 points or more.

Stoudemire, who worked on improving his low-post game in the offseason, showed off the benefits as he continued to improve after starting the season late due to knee surgery. He scored 14 points and hitting his seven attempts from the field.

"Any record that you have a chance to go get or break or tie, that's the fun part," Anthony said of passing Dave Guerin to capture the team record for himself. "It makes it fun out there."

Raymond Felton added 15 points and nine assists for the Knicks.

"My work I put in the summer is paying off now," Stoudemire said. "I feel great offensively."

Orlando, playing without injured leading scorer Arron Afflalo for the second straight game, responded well early after scoring just 77 points in a loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. But the Magic faltered as the Knicks used their 3-point shooting in the fourth quarter to open up what had been a close game for the first three periods.

The news got worse after the game as Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn announced Davis, who entered the game averaging 16.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and left in the first quarter, had broken his foot.

"It made it pretty tough for us," Vaughn said. "Having to get other guys in there and see if we could continue to compete. We did for a half and the guys gave effort. ... Unfortunately, though, we lost Glen tonight."

J.J. Redick led Orlando with 29 points and Nelson had 21, but the majority of their points came in the first half, when they combined to score 36.

Orlando (14-31) is now 2-18 since Dec. 21, when it followed a four-game winning streak by starting a 10-game losing streak and will now have to deal with a prolonged absence from Davis.

"It's difficult," Redick said of the Magic's season. "It definitely wears on you, but there are worse things.

"You never want to see a teammate get hurt," Redick said of Davis. "We have played without him before and we just have to continue to roll with the punches, and guys are going to have to step up."

The Knicks found their 3-point shooting touch in the fourth quarter to finally pull away in what had been a surprisingly close game.

New York extended the lead to 11 early in the fourth, when Pablo Prigioni hit a 3-pointer and Anthony hit two free throws for an 86-75 lead with 8:52 left.

In the next several minutes, J.R. Smith, Anthony, Felton and Steve Novak each hit 3-pointers during a 12-4 spurt that all but sealed the game as the Knicks opened a 100-84 lead with 4:50 left.

Tied after each of the first two quarters, the Knicks entered the fourth period with a 79-73 lead, thanks largely to a 6-0 run midway through the third. Chandler, who was 10 of 11 from the field, scored four points during the stretch, and Stoudemire gave New York a 68-62 lead with 5:33 left in the third.

"I had a couple rough games and wanted to get involved on the offense early," said Chandler, who said Woodson had told him to be more aggressive. "I really wanted to get my offense going. Just made it a point to come out more aggressive."

The Magic used a two-headed attack to enter halftime tied with the Knicks, 51-51. Nelson scored 19 points before the break and Redick had 17. The Knicks, who have been inconsistent defensively after a strong start this season, allowed Orlando to shoot 52.5 percent from the field before halftime.

NOTES: Knicks point guard Jason Kidd was out with a sore back. Kidd's back had flared up in the past week, and he did not play in the second half of Sunday night's win over the Atlanta Hawks. Kidd also left in the fourth quarter of Saturday's game at the Philadelphia 76ers to get treatment. Woodson said the 39-year-old point guard could have played Wednesday and that he probably will play Friday against the Milwaukee Bucks. ... With Kidd out, James White started at small forward for the Knicks, who have played shooting guard Iman Shumpert there recently. ... Magic center Nik Vucevic was selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend. ... Vaughn told reporters at the shootaround that Afflalo might be able to play Wednesday night, but Vaughn then declared him unable to go shortly before the game. ... Queens native Maurice Harkless, who played college ball at St. John's, got the start with Afflalo out. He scored six points in 36 minutes.
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