Knicks end home skid against Magic

Everett Merrill, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks ended their six-game home losing streak, knocking off the Orlando Magic 121-83 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Forward Carmelo Anthony topped the Knicks (5-13), who won their second straight game for the first time this season, with 20 points. Anthony, the NBA's second-leading scorer, played sparingly in the second half as New York held double-digit leads for most of the half.
The lopsided win was the second in a row for coach Mike Woodson's team. New York defeated its city rival, the Brooklyn Nets, 113-83 on Thursday night.
The Knicks had not won two games in a row by 30 or more points since the 1997-98 season.
Orlando (6-13) received 20 points from guard Arron Afflalo and 17 points from guard Victor Oladipo. The Magic have dropped four games in a row.
The Knicks emptied their bench with a 30-point cushion, 105-75, and 6:30 to play.
Two elements during the Knicks' long home losing streak was their inability to share the ball and their lack of success from beyond the arc. Against Orlando, they made a season-high 17 3-pointers and tied their season best for assists with 25.
Anthony didn't need to produce the bulk of the scoring. He took just 10 shots from the field, well below his average of 20.6.
"There's going to be nights he (Anthony) is going to get 30 and there's going to be nights he's going to get 40," Woodson said. "He's that type of player. But I've always said I want a team offensively that you don't know where it's going to come from."
Center Andrea Bargnani and guard J.R. Smith each scored 17 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 15 and point guard Raymond Felton contributed 14 points and five assists.
New York opened a 79-63 lead with 2:40 left in the game. Iman Shumpert's driving dunk over Orlando's Mo Harkless culminated a 7-0 burst that provided the Knicks with their biggest lead at home this season.
"We're back to playing like I thought we could play, getting stops defensively and rebounding the ball," Woodson said. "Offensively, we're making shots and that's something we struggled with earlier in the year.
"The ball is moving and the open man is getting the ball. We don't care who shoots it."
The Magic had a difficult time reacting to New York's pick-and-roll sets that allowed the Knicks to shoot 53 percent from the floor.
"They (New York) started playing small," Oladipo said. "It was hard for us to come off pick-and-rolls and take on their big because there was no big.
"It's a credit to their game plan. They shared and shot the ball well."
The Knicks broke a 34-34 deadlock with an 11-5 run midway through the second quarter en route to a 59-54 halftime lead. The Knicks bench contributed 23 of New York's 31 second-quarter points.
The 59 first-half points were the most by the Knicks since their opening night win over Milwaukee on Oct. 30.
Forward Metta World Peace led the Knicks subs with eight points and Smith and Hardaway Jr. contributed six points each.
"I can't say this loud enough," Woodson said. "Every team I've ever coached I've always thought the bench has got to be as important as the guys that start the game because they're not going to have it every night.
"If they can continue to contribute like they did tonight, than we will win our fair share of games."
The Magic came out sizzling from long range. Orlando benefited from the Knicks' poor job of covering the perimeter, converting six of their seven 3-point shots, resulting in Orlando's 31-28 lead after the first quarter.
"We stressed to our guys in the first quarter to try to get off to a decent start," Orlando coach Jacque Vaughn said. "We end up getting a decent start, but not great execution at the end of the first quarter."
NOTES: F Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks in scoring in each of the 18 games. He is the only player in the league to lead his team in scoring in every game. ... Anthony grabbed 11 rebounds in the win for his 10th double-double in 18 games this season. ... Magic PG Jameer Nelson returned to the starting lineup after missing three games with a sprained left foot. ... Orlando was without 7-0 C Nikola Vucevic, who suffered a sprained left ankle on Tuesday against Philadelphia. ... Orlando entered Friday ranked 28th in the league in turnovers (17.39 per game). ... The Knicks entered Friday turning the ball over the least in the league at 12.8 per game. ... Magic G Victor Oladipo's triple-double on Tuesday against Philadelphia was the 19th in team history and the first since Jan. 3, 2011, when Hedo Turkoglu did it against Golden State. ... The Knicks have sold out Madison Square Garden in 114 straight games and 134 of the last 136 regular-season games.

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