NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 20th
(All times Eastern)
Orlando Magic (18-50) at New York Knicks (39-26), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The roster is starting to get a bit thin for the New York
Knicks as they return home from an unsuccessful five-game western trek to
host the Orlando Magic Monday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks are already without Amare Stoudemire (knee surgery), Tyson Chandler
(back/knee) and Carmelo Anthony (knee), and just loss veteran forward Kurt
Thomas after Monday's 90-83 victory in Utah. Thomas, 40, suffered a broken
foot last week in Portland and X-rays before the Jazz game revealed bone
spurs. Thomas opted to play and logged a season-high 26:47.
Thomas, who was drafted back in 1995, scored six points, grabbed three
rebounds and swatted three shots for New York, which halted a four-game slide
and salvaged the road trip. Knicks coach Mike Woodson was pleased with Thomas'
performance and grit after the game.
"Kurt deserved the game ball tonight. Kurt has been a true pro," Woodson said.
"All the old guys have done their part. We gotta get 'Melo and Tyson back in
gear, and get them going again, and keep this thing going because we still got
a lot of basketball left."
Thomas will miss at least the next two to four weeks. Chandler could be back
in a few weeks, Stoudemire won't be back until the playoffs and Anthony is
listed as questionable for Wednesday. Anthony is second in the NBA with 27.5
ppg and has missed three straight and six of eight games. Anthony reportedly
had a hamstring issue which caused fluid to his ailing knee.
J.R. Smith scored 20 points, Raymond Felton added 19 and Chris Copeland
finished with 14 for New York. Kenyon Martin had nine points and nine rebounds
in the win.
"It was a great win for our ball club. To come to Utah, it is hard to win here
and to play a good team who has played well at home and to be shorthanded like
we were, we stepped up," Woodson said.
Woodson could most likely use the same starting five he had against Utah:
Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Iman Shumpert, Copeland and Martin. The Knicks, who
will start a home-and-home series with Toronto on Friday, are 22-10 as the
host this season. They are just one game ahead of Brooklyn for the Atlantic
Division lead and third in the East -- 1 1/2 games behind Indiana.
Orlando will put an end to their miserable four-game road trip (0-3) Wednesday
and has lost four in a row away from home.
The Magic dropped to 8-25 as the visitor with Tuesday's 95-73 loss at Indiana
as rookie Moe Harkless and Arron Afflalo scored 10 points apiece. Nikola
Vucevic had nine points and 11 rebounds for the Magic, who have lost four
straight and 14 of their last 17 games.
"Early I thought we had some looks that just didn't go in," said Magic coach
Jacque Vaughn. "Whether it was a putback, a dunk attempt, a transition play or
an open three - they just didn't go in. So that makes it tough when you are
going back on the defensive end."
Orlando, which 3-16 on the road against the East, shot 31.8 percent for the
game and sank just 3-of-15 3-pointers. It managed to score 14 points off 15
Indiana turnovers. The Magic are 1-7 against the Atlantic Division on the
road and have two tough home games on the upcoming docket in Oklahoma City and
The Magic are winless in the first three meetings of the season with the
Knicks, who have won five straight games between the teams.
03/20 10:21:59 ET