Knicks Lose Fifth in a Row, Falling to the Magic
MAGIC 131, KNICKS 117
ORLANDO, Fla. — Aaron Gordon scored 20 of his 31 points in the first quarter, and the Orlando Magic held off two rallies to beat the skidding Knicks, 131-117, on Sunday night.
Nikola Vucevic had 28 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists for Orlando, which has won seven of nine.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 32 points for the Knicks, who lost their fifth straight. Trey Burke added 31, and Enes Kanter finished with 21 points and 19 rebounds.
Orlando made its first 10 shots (seven by Gordon) and led, 28-10, when D. J. Augustin hit a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter. Gordon had 20 points when he took a seat on the bench with 3 minutes 54 seconds left in the period. The Magic tied a team record for first-quarter points and ended the period leading, 44-31.
“Aaron Gordon is one of the top 1 percent of athletes in this league,” Knicks Coach David Fizdale said. “The fact he’s now making his 3s, with that athleticism and his ability to put the ball on the floor, that’s a scary thought.”
Burke and Kanter came off the bench to get the Knicks back in it quickly. Burke scored 16 points in the first half and Kanter had 14 points and 16 rebounds, including nine at the offensive end. Noah Vonleh closed the first half with a 3-pointer for the Knicks to cut the deficit to 67-66.
A layup by Gordon got Orlando’s lead back up to 12 in the third quarter, but Burke and Hardaway answered with all of the Knicks’ points in an 11-2 run.
Jonathan Isaac scored seven of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help Orlando put it away. He rebounded a Hardaway shot, and then dunked off a fast break, putting the Magic ahead, 116-104, with 5:27 left.
The Magic shot 57 percent and set a season high for points, surpassing the 130 they scored Saturday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I guess it’s just the ball movement,” said Gordon, who made 13 of 17 shots. “The ball was sticking a little bit earlier in the year, and the ball is jumping around the court. Everybody’s passing and making the right reads all over the floor.”
Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, who blocked nine Magic shots last Monday, went to the bench with four fouls with 2:11 left in the second quarter. He played 75 seconds in the second half. … Forward Mario Hezonga sat out a second straight game with stomach flu or food poisoning, David Fizdale said.