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Magic 89, Knicks 83

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Updated 12 months ago on
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ORLANDO — Center Nikola Vucevic scored 28 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in leading the Orlando Magic to a 89-83 victory over the hapless New York Knicks on Wednesday night at the Amway Center.

The Magic (17-39) snapped a two-game losing streak, while the Knicks (10-43) lost their fifth consecutive game.

Magic guard Victor Oladipo had 19 points, and reserve guard Willie Green added 13, and guard Elfrid Payton finished with 12.

The Knicks were led by center Jason Smith, who had a season-high 25 points and seven rebounds. Reserve forward Andrea Bargnani had 11 points. Swingman Tim Hardaway Jr., starting in place of forward Carmelo Anthony (knee), had 10 points. Point guard Jose Calderon contributed nine points and seven assists.

The game was tied at 75, but the Magic dominated the final five minutes behind Vucevic and Oladipo. Vucevic had eight points in the final 3:18.

The Knicks, who led at halftime, shot just 34.2 percent (25-for-73) from the field for the game.

Green sank a 3-pointer for the 69-66 Magic lead early in the fourth. Vucevic hit back-to-back baskets for the 83-75 lead with 2:40 remaining. The Knicks tied the game three times in the fourth quarter, but they never led in the final period.

Magic forward Channing Frye left early in the third quarter with a dislocated left index finger.

The Magic led 64-60 going into the final period after holding the Knicks to 13 points in the third. Vucevic sparked Orlando with eight points in the period.

The Knicks led 47-44 at halftime, riding the hot start of Smith. He had 21 points by intermission, hitting nine of his first 12 shots while taking advantage Vucevic defensively.

Magic reserve center Dewayne Dedmon had four blocks by halftime, including back-to-back blocks of layups by Smith. He ended the night with six blocks.

Vucevic had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.

NOTES: The Magic were without starting F Tobias Harris (knee) for the second consecutive game. The Knicks were missing All-Star F Carmelo Anthony, who left Monday’s game in Miami with a sore knee. Anthony is questionable for the NBA All-Star Game this weekend in New York. Knicks coach Derek Fisher said Wednesday before the game that it will Anthony’s decision whether he plays Sunday. … Knicks veteran F Amar’e Stoudemire, in the last year of his five-year contract, continues to tell reporters that he might negotiate a buyout over the All-Star break and possibly sign with a contender. The Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors are reported to have interest. … Magic G Victor Oladipo said he plans to donate a portion of his earnings from the All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest to three charities that fight cancer. … Attending the game was Kaka, the Brazilian soccer star recently signed by the expansion Orlando City team of Major League Soccer.

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