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NBA Game Summary - New York at Orlando

(Monday, December 27th)

Final Score: New York 119, Orlando 111

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Stephon Marbury scored 34 points and dished out seven assists to lead the New York Knicks to a 119-111 win over the Orlando Magic at TD Waterhouse Centre.

Marbury, who had only 38 points total in his previous three games, shot 13- of-21 for the Knicks, who never trailed and held on for their second straight win. Allan Houston, Tim Thomas and Jerome Williams added 15 points apiece for New York, which improved to two games over .500 and remain atop the Atlantic Division standings.

"If I didn't bounce back from the way I played last night, I was going to have to kill myself," said Marbury, who had only 14 points in a 91-82 win over Charlotte.

Kurt Thomas tallied 14 points and nine boards and Mike Sweetney had 11 points, as New York has won six of nine and avenged an earlier season setback to the Magic at MSG.

Steve Francis recorded 25 points, seven boards and five assists for Orlando, which has dropped five of seven. Cuttino Mobley added 24 points and Grant Hill had 17 as the Magic rallied to cut a 19-point deficit to six points, but that would be as close as the team would get.

The Knicks got off to a quick start and carried that momentum through the entire opening half. New York scored the first nine points of the contest, led 15-12 midway through the first quarter and went into the second ahead 30-24.

In the second, back-to-back buckets by Marbury to begin the stanza gave the Knicks a 10-point lead, 34-24. Then, leading 44-35, New York went on an 11-4 burst to open up a 55-39 cushion with a little less than five minutes remaining until the break.

Later, a 14-6 run gave the Knicks their largest advantage at 19 points, 71-52. Williams' free throw inside the one-minute mark of the half ended the run and New York went into the break with a 71-54 lead.

Marbury led the Knicks in the first half, shooting 9-of-14 and scoring 21 points. New York shot a blistering 60 percent in the first 24 minutes and forced 10 turnovers compared to committing just three.

The only thing keeping the Magic in the game was a 13-point advantage at the free throw line. In the first half, Orlando shot 20-of-24 from the line and New York went only 7-of-10.

Coming out of the locker room the Knicks managed to keep the Magic at bay for most of the third quarter.

However, trailing 90-74 late in the stanza, Orlando bridged the final two quarters with an 18-9 burst to draw within 99-92 in the early stages of the fourth. Jameer Nelson sparked the run with eight points, including the capper inside the nine-minute mark.

New York responded and built its lead back to double-digits at 112-98 after Tim Thomas drained a three-pointer with 5:04 left.

Orlando again cut the lead to six points after an 8-0 run. But after Hill was called for an offensive foul with 2:51 remaining, Sweetney drained two free throws on the ensuing possession and Tim Thomas hit a leaner over Hill in the lane to extend the advantage back to 10 points, 116-106, with just under two minutes to play.

"We shot really well in the first half," said Marbury, "but I think the best thing that we did was sustain. Even when they made their run we kept playing at both ends."

Rookie Dwight Howard had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Magic, who have lost six of eight to the Knicks.

"We dug ourselves a hole early," said Francis.

Game Notes

The 71 first-half points was the most allowed by Orlando this season. It was also the most points scored in a half for the Knicks since posting 75 on March 30, 1991 versus New Jersey...The Knicks' 119 points was a season- high...Hedo Turkoglu recorded 11 points and Nelson ended with 10 for the Magic...Tim Thomas tallied six assists...The Knicks shot 54 percent for the game...Orlando went for 49 percent...The Magic shot 40-of-50 from the line, while the Knicks went just 21-of-31.

12/27 23:14:21 ET

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