Denton: Magic vs. Knicks Analysis (12/23/13)

   

By John Denton
Dec. 23, 2013

ORLANDO – The fact that the Orlando Magic could slice a 25-point deficit down to one with 8 minutes to play and to two points with less than 3 minutes left spoke volumes about the team’s pride, resolve and ability to make adjustments.

But the fact that they were in that 25-point predicament to begin with and later unable to finish the game following the stirring comeback, it left many Magic players searching for ways to put another defeat in perspective. Ultimately, the Magic’s 103-98 loss to the New York Knicks on Monday at the Amway Center left them in doubt over whether they should feel good about the comeback or dour about the defeat.

``Tonight we were close and it’s disappointing to not get the win, but we fought hard. I just hate saying that we fight hard,’’ Magic forward Tobias Harris said. ``As a player you can’t like losing and I hate losing. I want us to do better. If we weren’t down 20-something points in the second half that could have been a different game. For us as a team, our first half has to be more important to us.’’

The Magic (8-20) had to stomach the final result because they could never come all the way back against a New York team that could have been contemplating leadership changes had they squandered the 25-point lead. Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony, who had 19 points, left the game midway through the third period with an ankle sprain, seemingly opening the door for the Magic to pull off one of the largest come-from-behind wins in franchise history.

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