Knicks edge Magic 105-103 for third straight win
NEW YORK (AP) — Julius Randle scored 22 points, Taj Gibson had 19 and the New York Knicks beat the Orlando Magic 105-103 on Thursday night for their third straight victory.
Despite trading leading scorer Marcus Morris to the Clippers earlier in the day, the Knicks rallied from 10 down in the fourth quarter to match their longest winning streak of the season.
Elfrid Payton had 15 points and nine assists for the Knicks, who got rookie RJ Barrett back after he missed nine games with a sprained right ankle. He finished with 12 points.
Nikola Vucevic had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Magic, who lost for the seventh time in eight games. Coach Steve Clifford was trying desperately to get a timeout on their final possession, but nobody on the court saw him and the Magic couldn't get a shot off.
Clifford screamed at the officials after the game and had to be held back by Orlando assistant coaches.
The Knicks scored 30 points in the first quarter and had a 13-point lead in the second, but the Magic surged ahead by outscoring them 36-22 in the third.
Orlando went ahead by 10 in the fourth quarter, but Wayne Ellington hit consecutive 3-pointers and added another later in the period. Payton's 3-pointer tied it before a jumper by Randle and Gibson's dunk gave New York a 100-96 edge with 3:49 to play.
Magic: The Magic acquired veteran forward James Ennis from the Philadelphia 76ers for a second-round pick in the 2020 draft. Clifford said Ennis would join the team Friday. Also, the Magic waived forward Amile Jefferson. ... Orlando had won seven of the last nine meetings.
Knicks: Ellington and Reggie Bullock both had 12 points.
The Knicks received swingman Maurice Harkless and a 2020 first-round pick from the Clippers, and the draft rights to guard Issuf Sanon from Washington in the deal for Morris, who is fifth in the league in 3-point percentage. It gives the Knicks seven first-round selections in the next four years.
The New York Knicks plan to hire agent Leon Rose to take over their basketball operations, a person with knowledge of the details said. Rose will replace Steve Mills, who was fired as team president on Tuesday, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing.
Madison Square Garden executive chairman James Dolan said in a statement he hopes to wrap up his search for a new president quickly.
“I am not selling, but I am determined to find the right leader for the Knicks who will ensure the long-term success of the team, just as we did with the hiring of Rangers President John Davidson," Dolan said.
Magic: Host Milwaukee on Saturday.
Knicks: Visit Detroit on Saturday.
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