Magic rally for 98-94 victory over the Knicks to snap a three-game losing streak

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Orlando Magic are getting bodies back on the bench. So many of them that Paolo Banchero got an extended rest watching them in the fourth quarter.

The star forward delivered a couple big shots when he finally got his chance.

Banchero scored 20 points, Cole Anthony had 10 of his 15 in the final quarter and the Magic beat the New York Knicks 98-94 on Monday to snap a three-game losing streak.

Wendell Carter Jr. added 17 points for the Magic, going 7 for 11 off the bench in a strong return after missing five games with right knee tendinitis. Chuma Okeke scored 15 points.

The Magic trailed by 11 in the third quarter and didn't have much going offensively most of the day. But they took charge midway through the final period and grabbed the lead for good at 90-89 when Anthony tipped in a missed shot with 3:45 to play.

Banchero, on the bench for the first half of the final period, then knocked down consecutive jumpers for a five-point lead, which was plenty with the way the Knicks struggled.

“I think just wanting to come in the game and close it out,” Banchero said of his mindset. “I had been sitting over there for a while, and I was ready to come in the game.”

Along with Carter, Markelle Fultz, Joe Ingles and Jonathan Isaac were all available off the bench Monday after missing time recently for a Magic team that has fallen into eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

“You saw what they did coming off the bench. I think they put on a defensive clinic in a lot of ways," coach Jamahl Mosley said.

Deuce McBride scored a career-high 20 points in a second straight start in place of Jalen Brunson, who has a bruised left calf. OG Anunoby added 17, but Julius Randle shot just 5 for 18 and was held to 15 points.

The Knicks lost on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the third straight time, falling to 23-15 on the holiday.

The Knicks had played a league-low 15 home games entering the day and 24 on the road. But the schedule turned favorable starting Monday, with a four-game homestand this week and seven straight in New York — six at Madison Square Garden and a game Jan. 23 at Brooklyn.

But they started it with a mostly miserable offensive performance, shooting under 40% and 68.2% on free throws, going a dismal 2 for 6 in the fourth quarter.

“Just stagnant. Way too stagnant,” Randle said.

The Knicks led 52-50 at halftime despite Randle going just 1 for 8 for four points and missing 15 of their 20 3-point attempts.

Donte DiVincenzo also had 15 points for the Knicks.

UP NEXT

Magic: Visit Atlanta on Wednesday.

Knicks: Host Houston on Wednesday.

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA