Magic Defeat Knicks, Ending 3-Game Losing Streak With Bench Boost

Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Orlando Magic secured a much-needed victory over the New York Knicks during Monday’s NBA action, ending their three-game losing streak, led partly by a rejuvenated bench and a late-game surge by star forward Paolo Banchero.

Banchero led the team with 20 points, while Cole Anthony added significant impact in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 of his 15 points to seal the win. Wendell Carter Jr., coming off the bench after a five-game absence due to right knee tendinitis, contributed 17 points with a 7-11 shooting performance. Chuma Okeke also stood out, scoring 15 points.

Facing an 11-point deficit in the third quarter and struggling offensively for most of the game, the Magic turned the tide in the final period. They took a critical lead at 90-89 after Anthony’s tip-in with 3:45 remaining. Banchero, resting for the first half of the final period, re-entered to hit back-to-back jumpers, extending the lead to five points and effectively sealing the game against a struggling Knicks offense.

Banchero expressed his eagerness to return to the game and help close it out, having been on the bench for a significant duration.

“I think just wanting to come in the game and close it out,” Banchero said. “I had been sitting over there for a while, and I was ready to come in the game.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Julius Randle, New York Knicks Updates

The Magic’s bench, bolstered by the return of Markelle Fultz, Joe Ingles, Jonathan Isaac, and Carter, played a crucial role in the victory. Coach Jamahl Mosley lauded their defensive efforts, which helped the team, which is currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

For the Knicks, Deuce McBride stepped up in Jalen Brunson’s absence, scoring a career-high 20 points. OG Anunoby added 17 points, but Julius Randle had a challenging game, shooting just 5-18 and finishing with 15 points.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Julius Randle, New York Knicks Updates

This loss marked the Knicks’ third consecutive defeat on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, bringing their record to 23-15 on the holiday. Despite entering the day with the fewest home games played in the league, the Knicks’ schedule was set to become more favorable with a four-game homestand starting Monday, followed by seven consecutive games in New York.

However, the Knicks’ offensive woes were evident against the Magic, with a shooting percentage under 40% and a 68.2% success rate on free throws, including a poor 2 for 6 in the fourth quarter. Randle described the team’s performance as “stagnant.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Paolo Banchero, Orlando Magic, Julius Randle, New York Knicks Updates

The Knicks had led 52-50 at halftime, despite Randle’s struggles and missing 15 of their 20 attempts from the three-point line. Donte DiVincenzo also contributed 15 points for the Knicks.

Looking ahead, the Magic will visit the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, while the Knicks are set to host the Houston Rockets.

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