The Orlando Magic rose from the ashes to beat the New York Knicks 116-110 at Amway Arena on Tuesday night, behind a blistering fourth quarter by Jameer Nelson.
Dwight Howard came out strong early, dominating the paint to score seventeen points in the first half.
JJ Redick helped the Magic build a nine point first quarter lead, with nice drives to the basket off of baseline picks from Howard. Redick finished the night with twelve points.
The Magic followed up their solid first quarter with a total breakdown in the second. Head coach Stan Van Gundy sat Howard at the start of the quarter, along with Jameer Nelson.
Without backup point guard Gilbert Arenas available, former Knick Chris Duhon filled in at the point, as the second team looked lost offensively.
Unable to find points, and continuing their on-again-off-again relationship with defense, the Magic quickly gave up their lead, and found themselves down after giving up an eleven point lead.
The second quarter also saw Hedo Turkoglu get ejected with his second technical. Making matters worse, Turkoglu got the technical while sitting on the Magic bench.
By the end of the first half, the Magic trailed the Knicks by eleven points— with the Knicks scoring thirty-seven points to the Magic’s paltry fifteen in the second quarter.
The Magic used the third quarter to fight back in the game.
Orlando went on multiple runs, shrinking the eleven point half-time lead down to four at one point in the quarter.
The Knicks were able to maintain their lead behind great shooting from Billups. Billups finished the night with thirty points, hitting four of nine from three-point range.
In the fourth quarter, Jameer Nelson took over the game. Utilizing their bread-and-butter pick-and-roll offense with the Howard-Nelson tandem.
Nelson put on a scoring clinic. He hurt the Knicks with slashing drives to the basket, in combination with great shooting from the outside.
Nelson finished with twenty-six points, shooting sixty-two percent and 2-2 from the three-point line.
Quentin Richardson, who lost his playing time after the Magic’s big mid-season trade, came in and shutdown Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony finished the game with a quiet twenty-five points.
The Magic struggled to score baskets after a good first quarter. But true to from, the Magic came to life in the second half, with crucial three-point shots from Ryan Anderson and Q. Rich.
Overall the Magic shot fifty-two percent from the field, going 8-18 from the three-point line.
Dwight Howard carried the Magic early, and ended the night with thirty points, sixteen rebounds and five blocks.