Julius Randle loses the ball against the Magic
The Knicks had a strong first half but fell flat in the final two quarters, dropping Wednesday’s game to the Orlando Magic, 107-89.
Five things to know from Wednesday’s game
1. As has been the case so often for the Knicks this season, Julius Randle came out of the gates strong, setting the pace early and bringing energy for New York. Randle scored 13 points in the first quarter (including three three-pointers), but his ability to draw defenders also freed up Nerlens Noel, who had a very active first quarter with six points, three rebounds and a steal in under seven minutes.
The Knicks took a 32-23 lead into the second, thanks largely to Randle’s hot start.
2. In the second, Randle cooled off just a bit, scoring just four points, but Elfrid Payton and RJ Barrett each approached double digits, finishing the first half with nine points apiece.
Overall, the Knicks shot 52.5 percent from the floor in the first half, while holding the Magic to 45.1 percent shooting. The Knicks made just three threes in the first half (all from Randle), but outscored the Magic 34-22 in the paint, taking a three-point lead into halftime.
3. The third quarter belonged to the Magic, as the Knicks’ offense went cold. New York shot just 6-of-20 from the floor in the quarter, allowing the Magic to take the lead and then continue to build it. One of the biggest reasons for Orlando’s dominance in the quarter was Nikola Vucevic, who continued to wear the Knicks down in the paint. Without Mitchell Robinson down low, Vucevic was able to do what he pleased, as he helped the Magic take a 73-60 lead into the fourth.
4. In the fourth, the Knicks continued to look beaten down, as Orlando stretched their lead to 89-72 with 8:23 to go, their largest lead of the game to that point. The Knicks cut the lead to 10, but Orlando quickly pushed it back to 15, as Evan Fournier knocked down a three-pointer after a Knicks turnover.
5. One of the biggest reasons for the Knicks’ struggles on Wednesday night was the uninspired play from the bench. So many times this season, the Knicks’ second unit has stepped in and led the charge, but that wasn’t the case against Orlando. Immanuel Quickley had one of his worst games as a pro, going 1-for-12, and the Knicks’ bench was outscored 42-26 on the night.
Randle led the way for the Knicks with 25 points and seven rebounds, but Barrett (15 points) and Payton (13 points) were the only other Knicks in double figures.
Published: 2021-02-18 14:04:44
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