Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/30

Game 1: Sunday, December 30th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 12th
Game 3: Sunday, March 31st
Game 4: Tuesday, April 9th

Magic 94

(15-17, 7-11 away)

Knicks 90

(13-17, 9-7 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2001

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 27 16 20 3194
    NY 26 23 26 1590

    Top Performers

    Orl: T. McGrady 29 Pts, 11 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl, 2 Blk

    NY: L. Sprewell 28 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Another late-game collapse costs Knicks

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Doc Rivers called it Orlando's most incredible victory since he's been coaching the team. The New York Knicks didn't know what to call it, having long ago exhausted their supply of negative definitives.

    Tracy McGrady

    Tracy McGrady scored 29 points and blocked an ill-advised shot by Charlie Ward with five seconds left as the Orlando Magic closed the game with an 18-2 run and beat the New York Knicks 94-90 Sunday night.

    "We really had no business being in that game," Rivers said. "It was an incredible win, the best since I've been here. This was a sign of a team that has not decided to cave in, that has not decided to quit because Grant (Hill) is not playing."

    The collapse was the latest in a series of them for New York, which has shown a penchant lately for blowing leads late in games. Losing for the fifth time in their last six home games, the Knicks were booed off the court.

    The crowd also booed Allan Houston early in the third quarter after he missed a free throw to remain scoreless, but the Knicks seemed to have won the fans over and have the game in hand after Latrell Sprewell hit a jumper for an 88-76 lead with 4:33 left.

    "It hurt for like a second, but at the same time that's part of the game," Houston said. "What I found myself doing was trying to play harder just to quiet my home fans up."

    The Knicks, who have blown big leads in the past three weeks against Boston, Detroit, Indiana and Washington, missed three shots on their next possession.

    McGrady scored on a drive and Mike Miller and Pat Garrity hit consecutive 3-pointers in an 11-0 run that made it 88-87. After Houston hit a 23-footer, McGrady was fouled by Sprewell as he went up for a dunk, and he converted the three-point play to tie it at 90.

    Houston missed on a drive, and McGrady drew Shandon Anderson's sixth foul by driving around him and into the lane. McGrady hit both free throws with 17.1 seconds left for a 92-90 lead.

    "We hung in there and I think they kind of got a little tight at the end," McGrady said.

    The Knicks then ran a two-man isolation play with Charlie Ward and Sprewell, but Ward -- hounded by the taller McGrady -- could not or would not throw an entry pass to Sprewell. Instead, he hoisted a 3-pointer that was blocked by McGrady.

    "That wasn't the play, so it wasn't executed well. I was supposed to pass it, but no one was available at the time," Ward said -- a contention that was disputed by Sprewell.

    Troy Hudson grabbed the loose ball and was fouled, making both free throws to ice the win.

    Hudson scored 15 and Miller 13 for the Magic.

    Sprewell led the Knicks with 28, Houston had 17 and Kurt Thomas added 16.

    Houston heard scattered boos late in he first half when he missed his sixth consecutive field goal attempt, and the boos got much louder early in the third when he missed the first of two free throws to remain scoreless.

    The taunts seemed to inspire Houston, who hit three shots over the rest of the quarter and began the fourth with consecutive 3-pointers for an 81-66 lead.

    "We lost the game in the last three minutes, that's the bottom line," Sprewell said. "We haven't won these types of games, so we haven't developed the confidence that we can and that we're going to.

    "We've been in so many of these games and we haven't finished down the stretch, so psychologically, yeah, I'm sure it's tough on us."

    Game notes
    Ex-Knick Patrick Ewing received a 30-second ovation from the fans, who briefly chanted his name. He finished with five points and four rebounds in 15 minutes. ... Anderson now has the NBA's longest consecutive games streak, 365 games. ... The Magic improved to 1-11 when trailing at halftime. ... The Knicks dropped to 2-6 against teams from the Atlantic Division.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 94 90
    FGM-FGA 29-77 (.377) 35-80 (.438)
    3PM-3PA 6-24 (.250) 5-17 (.294)
    FTM-FTA 30-37 (.811) 15-17 (.882)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-47 10-43
    Assists 15 20
    Turnovers 10 14
    Steals 11 7
    Blocks 3 2
    Fast Break Points 0 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/1) 27 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 29
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 2
    Latrell Sprewell Sprewell
    Points: 28
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0