Magic get 24 from Oladipo to beat Knicks 100-91
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Scott Skiles shook up the Orlando Magic starting lineup, hoping for a better defensive effort and some punch off his bench.
He got both as the Magic easily beat the New York Knicks 100-91 on Wednesday night.
Victor Oladipo, the odd man out of the new starting lineup, scored a season-high 24 points as a reserve and the Magic defense put the clamps on New York the entire game.
Orlando held the Knicks to just 29.3 percent shooting in the first half and 37.3 percent for the game. When New York crept within 76-70 with just under 8 minutes left, Oladipo carried Orlando to the finish line.
''I came in with a little chip on my shoulder,'' said Oladipo, who when healthy has started every game for the Magic the last two seasons. ''A lot of it was just getting back to being who I am and realizing when I do that, we have a good chance of winning.''
The Magic had a plethora of double-doubles in support of Oladipo. Nik Vucevic scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds; Tobias Harris had 17 points and 10 boards; and Elfrid Payton had 12 points and 11 assists.
''Without Victor and that effort, we wouldn't have won the game,'' Harris said. ''He's a starter, but he came off the bench and accepted that role.''
New York struggled to find an offensive rhythm the entire game. Carmelo Anthony had 28 points and 13 rebounds. Jose Calderon scored 23 points but nobody else had more than 10.
New York's bench was 3 for 20 from the field and scored only 12 points.
''Orlando made it tough for us to sustain any momentum,'' Knicks coach Derek Fisher said. ''Carmelo had to work hard for his points and we're still trying to figure out how to make it easier for him and all of our guys to be effective, especially our guys off the bench.''
The Knicks, down double digits most of the second half, scored seven straight points to cut the deficit to 76-70 with eight minutes left, but that was as close as they could come.
''I thought the Magic came out trying to be more physical,'' Anthony said. ''We were able to get some things going, but guys just missed wide-open shots.''
Oladipo scored six points during a 13-4 run that made it 89-74 and New York never seriously threatened from there.
Knicks: New York is third-worst shooting team in the NBA at 41.5 percent. The Knicks shot just 29.3 percent (12 of 41) in the first half. . C Robin Lopez has double-digit rebounds only once in 15 games this season. . Rookie G Jerian Grant is 2 for 15 from the field the last five games.
Magic: Orlando is averaging 90.07 field goal attempts per game, highest in the NBA. . The Magic shot only 32.7 percent (16 of 49) in the first half, but still led 46-35. . Vucevic and Oladipo, the Magic's top two scorers last season, have led the team in scoring only once each in the first 14 games. . The Magic have shot better than 50 percent from the floor only once this season. . PF Andrew Nicholson, who didn't score in the first 11 Magic games, has 37 points in the last four games.
Skiles all but apologized for removing Oladipo from the starting lineup. ''It was not an easy decision and in some ways, it's not even right,'' Skiles said. ''We've been preaching `Play better defense' from the beginning and I've commented multiple times that Victor is our best defender, and oh, by the way, you're out of the lineup. Victor is kind of a victim.''