New York Knicks Highlights: Orlando Magic Defeat Knicks Behind Nikola Vucevic


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Knicks Highlights

A game between two teams with losing records is hard enough to watch. When both teams are without their star players, it makes it even less appealing, and sometimes hard to watch. That is what happened between the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic Wednesday night, as Carmelo Anthony and Tobias Harris both missed the game because of injuries. The offenses for both teams would suffer without two of the better offensive players in the game.

The Knicks were a mess for most of the game without their leading scorer, as they managed to shoot an abysmal 34.2 percent in the game. That is hard to believe when you see that the Knicks actually started the game so strongly, making their first six shots and connecting on 50 percent of their shots in the opening quarter. Things got ugly the remainder of the game, as they made only 29 percent of their shots in the final three quarters.

Jason Smith was the only Knick with the knack Wednesday, as he was the only player with multiple shots on the team that made at least half their attempts. He finished with a season-high 25 points, one shy of his career high. He added seven rebounds as well to round out his strong night.

For as well as Smith played, he was no match for Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic torched the Knicks for the third time this season, getting his third double-double of the season against the Knicks. Tonight he finished with 28 points and 18 rebounds, which follows up performances of 34 and 18 and 20 and 13 against the Knicks previously this season. Even though the Magic have a losing record, there can be a strong case made for Vucevic to make the All-Star team as Dwyane Wade’s replacement.

The Magic also received a strong game from Victor Oladipo, who was a perfect 11-11 from the foul line, scoring 19 points to go with five rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block. We will see Oladipo this weekend at the All-Star Festivities, as he will be taking part in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday night.

Off the bench the Magic got a surprise contribution from Willie Green, who got extended minutes as a three-point shooter because Channing Frye was forced from the game with an injured hand. In 24 minutes, Green connected on 4-8 from the field, 2-3 from deep, for 13 points, the most of any bench player in the game.

A part of the reason for the Knicks struggles offensive was the play of Tim Hardaway Jr. Hardaway Jr. struggled once again with his shot, making 2-9 from the field and 1-6 from deep. He did attempt seven free throws, making five, but the Knicks could have really used a strong shooting night. With Anthony and his backup Lance Thomas both out tonight, Hardaway Jr. had a chance to shine but didn’t take advantage.

Off the bench for the Knicks, Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani both played, which has been a rare occurrence this season. Both played limited minutes, but at this point the stats are secondary to their health. The fact both were able to get on the court for consecutive games was a victory all in itself.

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