Nikola Vucevic has 34 points, Magic beat Knicks 105-100
NEW YORK (AP) — Nikola Vucevic scored 34 points — eight straight in a decisive 10-0 fourth-quarter run — and the Orlando Magic beat the New York Knicks 105-100 on Sunday.
With the score tied at 85 midway through the fourth quarter, Vucevic made a short basket, a three-point play and a 3-point shot in succession to give the Magic the lead for good.
Evan Fournier had 20 points, Jonathon Simmons added 16, and Elfrid Payton had 15 for Orlando.
Michael Beasley, who replaced the injured Kristaps Porzingis in the starting lineup, led the Knicks with 21 points. Courtney Lee had 19, and Enes Kanter added 18 points and 16 rebounds.
The Knicks used an 11-4 run to pull within three at 99-96 on Jarrett Jack’s 3-pointer with 27 seconds left. Fournier then hit two free throws with 23 seconds remaining, and Jack followed with a reverse layup with 16 second left.
Fournier again connected on two free throws, this time with 13 seconds left.
Beasley scored his final two points on a layup with four seconds remaining before Vucevic hit a pair of clinching free throws.
The Knicks scored the first six points of the third quarter and took their biggest lead of the game, 57-54, on Damyean Dotson’s jumper. However, Orlando answered with its own 6-0 streak and went on to take a 78-76 lead after three quarters.
The Magic never trailed again.
Magic: After snapping a nine-game losing streak with a 121-108 win over Oklahoma City on Nov. 29, the Magic have won two of three. ... Orlando had lost seven straight road games. ... Tied the series with the Knicks at 54-54.
Knicks: Orlando has beaten the Knicks in both meetings this season. The Magic won 112-99 in Orlando on Nov. 8.
The Knicks’ top two leading scorers, Porzingis (25.8 ppg) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (17.8 ppg) both missed Sunday’s game. Porzingis sprained his right ankle in Wednesday’s win over Miami, while Hardaway was sidelined due to a left leg injury. They were replaced in the starting lineup by Beasley and Damyean Dotson, who was making his first career start.
The Magic were 3 of 7 from 3-point range in the first quarter. They went 3 of 21 the rest of the game.
Magic: At Charlotte on Monday night.
Knicks: At Indiana on Monday night.