Banchero strong late to help Magic top Knicks
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Paolo Banchero's 21 points included a 3 with 1:26 remaining and two free throws in the final seconds to help the Orlando Magic turn back the New York Knicks 111-106 on Thursday night.
“It was the right play. They kicked it to me in the corner and I have to take that shot,” said Banchero, a 28% 3-point shooter. “Otherwise everybody’s mad at me.”
Cole Anthony added 18 points for Orlando and Wendell Carter Jr. had 16 points and eight rebounds. Franz Wagner scored 16 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley scored 25 points each for the Knicks, who lost their third straight. Julius Randle finished with 23 points and nine rebounds.
With Jalen Brunson out with an injury and Randle on the bench, the Knicks went almost 5 1/2 minutes without scoring in the second quarter and fell behind 46-27.
The first half ended with Randle drawing a technical foul from referee Leon Wood and jawing with Quickley, who was trying to restrain him as they walked off the court.
“Everybody’s trying to win. That’s all I can really say about that,” Quickley said. “Sometimes that happens.”
New York had a 23-4 run and tied it at 75 on Quickley's two free throws with 49 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Knicks never took the lead in the second half. Anthony and Gary Harris opened the fourth quarter with 3s and the Knicks spent the rest of the game trying to catch up.
“We gave up 36 points in the fourth quarter tonight. That’s not who we are,” Quickley said.
“In the third quarter we got out of the hole, and then at the start of the fourth quarter we played poorly,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeaux said. “That third quarter our defense got us into the open floor. We got some easy buckets. That helped us a lot, but we exerted so much energy trying to fight out of that hole that we fell short in the end.”
Banchero finished with six rebounds, four assists and two steals and spent much of the game guarding Randle, who shot 7 for 20.
“He just had 57 points a few games ago, which is ridiculous. I just tried to slow him down,” said Banchero, who is trying to boost the Magic's slim playoff hopes with only eight games left in his rookie season.
“Honestly I feel like we haven’t played a game this year that wasn’t meaningful,” he said. “Every game has been competitive. Teams trying to get into playoff position are desperate and it makes it more fun when the level gets raised. We’re happy to compete.”
Knicks: Brunson, who scored 25 points in a win in Orlando on on Feb. 7, did not play because of a sprained right hand. ... C Mitchell Robinson, whose availability was not determined until warmups because of a sore knee, played 31 minutes and had 12 rebounds and four blocks. ... It was the fifth straight game in which New York fell behind by double digits. ... Randle has been assessed technicals in three straight games.
Magic: Turner Sports NBA analyst Dennis Scott, who played for the Magic from 1990 to 1997, was inducted into the Magic Hall of Fame and got a scoreboard tribute from former teammate Shaquille O'Neal, among others. ... G Jalen Suggs missed a fourth game because of a concussion. ... The Magic are 64-62 all-time against the Knicks.
Knicks: Host Houston on Monday night.
Magic: Host Brooklyn on Sunday night.
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