The Knicks’ magic ran out against the reeling Magic.
A third quarter from hell doomed the Knicks as their Fantasyland three-game winning streak got snapped by an injury-wracked Orlando squad, 107-89, before 4,000 fans at Amway Center on Wednesday night.
Looking like anything but a playoff contender, the Knicks (14-16) missed 15 straight shots in the second half to ruin their chance of moving to a .500 record. They scored just 33 points in the second half.
Derrick Rose and rookie Immanuel Quickley, the new electric point-guard/bench combo, were disastrous, combining to shoot 2-for-22.
Quickley, who was a minus-19, said it was just an off-shooting night, but other elements reeked.
“Our energy probably wasn’t up to where Orlando’s was,’’ Quickley said. “Things like energy, defense, togetherness, toughness, those are things that you can control on a night to night basis. That was a couple of the things that I feel we didn’t do as a group.’’
The 32-year-old Rose killed the Knicks with his second straight off-night (1-for-10, four points), without the spark and shotmaking of his earlier Knicks games. He was a minus-15 and Tom Thibodeau held him to 16 minutes.
Rose’s lousy evening was part of an anemic showing for the Knicks’ bench, which had been on fire.
Meanwhile, Quickley had his worst night as a pro, missing his first 11 shots and finishing 1-for-12, seemingly rushing his attempts.
“I try not to just base my game off shooting,’’ Quickley said. “You work hard and do whatever you can do. I don’t feel like, individually I didn’t do that.’’
After being schooled by the Knicks in the first half, the Magic pummeled them, 30-14, in the third quarter. Terrence Ross (30 points) banged in a 3-pointer in the final seconds to give the Magic an 83-70 lead heading to the fourth.
“I feel like it was a good opportunity for us — we just didn’t have it,’’ said Julius Randle, who followed up his 44-point explosion with a 25-point outing. “We didn’t defend well. We didn’t help each other well. We could be better. We’ve relied on our defense and shown all year we’re a great defensive team. We got to be better next game.’’
Orlando outhustled the Knicks to loose balls and long rebounds. The Magic, the least-accurate shooting team in the NBA, drained 16 of 34 3-pointers.
“We didn’t have our normal awareness,’’ Thibodeau said. “That’s been one of our strong suits of the team.”
The Knicks were frigid, shooting 38.4 percent overall — and 7-for-27 (25.9 percent) from 3-point range.
Randle notched 17 of his points in the first half and couldn’t carry the Knicks any longer as he picked up five turnovers. The Knicks scored 16 points in the first 16 minutes of the second half.
The Knicks finally missed injured center Mitchell Robinson, his rim protection and picks on offense. He’ll be out until at least mid-March after hand surgery.
Oddly, Elfrid Payton and RJ Barrett, starters who were having decent games (a combined 28 points), were overlooked in the fourth quarter. Indeed, this wasn’t Thibodeau’s finest hour as his hunches were all wrong, and he kept the bench in.
Barrett finally entered with 2:19 remaining, when the game was nearly a blowout. Payton was set to come in with 2:10 left, but the game was too out of hand and he went back to the bench area.
Thibodeau has trended against using Barrett in the final period recently.
“We were in such a hole and you try to find a way out,’’ Thibodeau said. “Those guys started to make a run and so that was basically it. I wanted to see where it could go once it got to 10 and it didn’t go anywhere.’’
In retrospect, the Knicks’ three-game winning streak, against the Wizards, Rockets and Hawks, could have warranted an asterisk.
The Wizards were without superstar Bradley Beal (rest). The Rockets played without their two best players, Christian Wood and Victor Oladipo. And the Hawks, expected to be playoff contenders, have suffered a plethora of injuries and are 11-16.
Now the Knicks have three days off because of Saturday’s cancellation against the Spurs. They will host the Timberwolves on Sunday in Thibodeau’s first crack at revenge after getting fired two years ago.
“Look at film and see how we can correct it,’’ Randle said. “We got a good one on Sunday. We just got to move on.’’
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[This article may have been written with information from various sources]