Knicks hold off Magic for another home win

New York Knicks guard Dennis Smith Jr. (5) dribbles the ball against Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Reuters pic)

NEW YORK: Emmanuel Mudiay scored 19 points to lead a big night from the Knicks’ reserves, and New York overcame a 16-point deficit to record a 108-103 victory over the visiting Orlando Magic on Tuesday night.

The Knicks won consecutive games for the only time this season other than a three-game stretch in late November. They posted a second straight home victory after a team-record, 18-game home losing streak.

Using strictly reserves, the Knicks dominated the fourth quarter by a 30-13 margin, and their reserves outscored Orlando’s bench players 75-7 in the game.

Rookie Allonzo Trier scored 12 of his 18 in the fourth while first-year centre Mitchell Robinson finished with a career-best 17 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and three steals. Henry Ellenson added 13 points for the Knicks, who shot 62.5% (10 of 16) in the fourth quarter.

Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic scored 26 points apiece for Orlando, which lost for the third time in its past 11 games. The Magic also missed a chance to move into a tie with Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by missing 20 of 25 shots in the fourth quarter, including 10 of its last 11 attempts.

Jonathan Isaac added 16 points and Evan Fournier finished with 15 for Orlando, but reserve Terrence Ross, who had 28 on Sunday in a win at Toronto, shot 1 of 10 and finished with three points.

Orlando withstood numerous New York comeback attempts in the first 36 minutes and held a 90-78 edge going into the fourth. The Knicks did not get the lead until Robinson hit a foul shot to make it 101-100 with 2:57 left.

After Robinson blocked his sixth shot, Vucevic missed an off-balance jumper as the shot clock ran out. Ellenson then made it 104-100 by hitting a 3-pointer from the left wing in front of Orlando’s bench with 2:11 remaining.

Following a turnover in the low post by Vucevic with 38.2 seconds left, Mudiay extended the lead to 106-100 by hitting two free throws with 33.6 seconds left. Ross sank his only 3-pointer on the next possession to make it 106-103 with 28.8 seconds to play.

After the Knicks called a timeout, Trier hit two free throws with 23.1 seconds to go. On the next possession, Ross missed a 3-point try with 10.6 seconds remaining, and Robinson grabbed the rebound.