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Knicks down Magic for 5-0 start
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Led by Carmelo Anthony's 25 points, the New York Knicks downed the Orlando Magic, 99-89, to remain the NBA's lone undefeated team.
Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith poured in 21 apiece for the Knicks, who are 5-0 for the third time in team history and the first time since the 1993-94 season. Tyson Chandler added 12 points and six rebounds for New York, which has won each of its games by double digits.
The Knicks will next put their unblemished mark to the test on Thursday, when they face the San Antonio Spurs.
The Magic, who have been plagued by injuries early this season, gave the Knicks perhaps their toughest test through three quarters, but were outscored 22-13 in the final period.
"It's tough on the road, but these guys played hard" said Knicks head coach Mike Woodson. "I thought Orlando played extremely hard. I thought in the third and fourth quarters our defense came back, and we've been that way. This is the fifth straight game we haven't allowed over 40 points in the second half."
Seven players for Orlando scored in double figures, with J.J. Reddick leading the way with 18 points.
"We can't afford to make mistakes, but for me at the end of this game I was pretty proud of our guys and their effort tonight," Orlando head coach Jacque Vaughn said. "That's a good ball club on both ends of the floor and we made them earn a win tonight."
Nikola Vucevic posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards, while Arron Afflalo finished with 13 points, five assists and four rebounds for the Magic, who have now lost five games in a row.
Still without veterans Jameer Nelson and Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando showed its inexperience by the fourth quarter. New York forced the Magic into seven turnovers, which led to half of the Knicks' points in the period.
The Knicks began to pull away after Smith hit a jumper to put New York up 86-80 with 7:12 remaining. Felton then threw an alley-oop to Chandler to give the Knicks a nine-point cushion and Smith later hit a running jumper to give New York its largest lead of the game at 97-84 with 1:29 left to play.
Despite the Magic shooting an incredible 71.4 percent in the third quarter, the Knicks held a 77-76 advantage going into the fourth, thanks in large part to Felton and Smith.
The duo combined for 22 of the Knicks' 28 points in the period, as Smith shot a perfect 5-for-5 while Felton drained 2-of-3 from downtown to help New York overcome a 53-49 halftime deficit.
The Magic outplayed New York in the first half, especially in the second quarter. Reddick and rookie Moe Harkless each scored 10 points through the first two periods and Orlando did a great job of controlling the paint.
The Magic outscored the Knicks 34-20 inside and outrebounded them 25-16 in the first half to help jump out to a 53-49 halftime lead.
Nelson sat for the sixth straight game with a strained right hamstring ... The Magic had 20 turnovers on the night compared to the Knicks' 9 ... There were 19 lead changes in the game.
11/14 01:22:14 ET