Rapid Reaction: Knicks 113, Magic 97


WHAT IT MEANS: Earlier this month, some Knicks fans were worried that Amar'e Stoudemire's return from a knee injury would hurt the team's chemistry.

It doesn't seem like they have anything to worry about after Wednesday.

Stoudemire had his most efficient game of the season, scoring 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting in 21 minutes in the Knicks' 113-97 win over the Magic.

The numbers aren't eye-popping, but the way Stoudemire scored was. He scored on the pick-and-roll and with his back to the basket.

Stoudemire has scored in double figures in seven straight games and has made 37 of his last 57 shots.

Six Knicks scored in double figures, led by Tyson Chandler's 21 points. Carmelo Anthony had 20. New York has won five of seven.

IT WASN'T ALL GOOD: Woodson implored his team to pick things up on the defensive end Wednesday.

It didn't happen.

The Knicks were torched by the Magic for 31 points on 62 percent shooting in the first quarter. New York allowed Orlando to score 51 points in the first half.

The backcourt of J.J. Redick and Jameer Nelson combined for 36 points on 14-for-20 shooting in the first half. Woodson was visibly upset at his team's struggles on perimeter defense. The Knicks tightened things up in the second half but they will probably be sweating through defensive drills in practice on Thursday as a result of that porous first.

MELO SETS MARK: With 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting, Carmelo Anthony set the franchise mark for consecutive games of at least 20 points. Wednesday was his 30th straight game with at least 20 points, breaking Richie Guerin's mark.

NOVAK BOUNCE BACK: Steve Novak missed his first four 3-point attempts but may have snapped out of his recent shooting funk by hitting his last three tries of the game.

Coming into the game, Novak had just one 3-pointer in his previous four games. Woodson said he wanted to find a way to find more attempts for the Knicks' resident sharpshooter.

WHAT'S NEXT: The Knicks will likely practice on Thursday in advance of their home back-to-back against Milwaukee (Friday) and Sacramento (Saturday).

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