McGrady scored half of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and
overtime to rally the Orlando Magic to a season-opening 85-83
victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
Orlando forced overtime with a 10-0 run over the final 3:55 of
regulation. The Magic made it a 15-point spurt by scoring the first
five points of the extra session -- punctuated by McGrady's
3-pointer with 3:42 left.
"I told the guys if we took this to overtime I was going to
take over," McGrady said.
That's what Van Horn did in his Knicks debut. He scored 29
points and grabbed eight rebounds before fouling out when New York
held a 73-69 lead with 34 seconds left in regulation.
Even McGrady took a brief shot at defending Van Horn, who is two
"We couldn't find anyone to guard him. It's a good thing he got
his sixth foul," McGrady said. "He looked like an All-Star."
The Knicks rallied, too, in overtime scoring six straight points
to take a 79-78 lead on Kurt Thomas' turnaround jumper.
Tyronn Lue responded with a 3-pointer that made it 81-79, and
McGrady then blocked Allan Houston's jumper. That sent Gordan
Giricek to a fastbreak basket and three-point play that made it
84-79 with 1:46 remaining.
The Knicks had one last chance as Lue missed two free throws
with 17 seconds left. But Howard Eisley and Thomas both missed
shots during the game's final possession. Thomas' short 3-point try
at the buzzer grazed the bottom of the net.
McGrady scored seven points during the fourth-quarter spurt,
including the tying basket with 0.5 seconds left. He drove to the
lane and shoveled a pass to Juwan Howard, who clanked a shot off
the rim. McGrady out-tapped Thomas for the rebound and scooped the
ball in to tie it at 73.
"They kept believing. I didn't have to convince them," Magic
coach Doc Rivers said.
Houston missed a fallaway jumper as the fourth-quarter buzzer
sounded. He finished with 10 points as he gets back in shape
following offseason knee surgery.
"It definitely affected me mentally, not physically," Houston
said. "I have to work through it. It won't take long."
Van Horn didn't make New York fans forget favorite Latrell
Sprewell, who he was traded for during the offseason, but he
quickly turned lukewarm cheers into full-throated ones.
"I was excited to come in here and show the Knick fans what I
can do," Van Horn said. "I wanted to come out and let my game
speak for myself."
McGrady looked like he'd fall well behind his 32.1 scoring
average of last season when he led the NBA. Drew Gooden was next
for the Magic with 16 points, and Howard had 10 rebounds.
Thomas had 10 points and 15 rebounds for New York.
McGrady drilled a 3-pointer with 1:03 left and made both free
throws after Van Horn fouled out to bring Orlando within 73-71.
Dikembe Mutombo also drew cheers from the sellout crowd. He
provided sorely needed size for the Knicks, who have missed the
playoffs the last two seasons.
Mutombo, the NBA's active leader in blocked shots, recorded his
first with New York late in the third quarter when he knocked away
Andrew DeClercq's try and followed it up with his signature finger
Orlando trailed by eight points at the start of the fourth, but
trimmed the deficit to 61-56 on two free throws by McGrady with
Van Horn's only fourth-quarter basket was a dunk with 4:20 left
that gave the Knicks a 71-63 lead.
"He did a great job of setting the tone," Houston said. "He
played hard, he played aggressive, and his shot fell for him which
Former Knicks star Dave DeBusschere, who died during the
offseason, was honored with a moment of silence. His retired jersey
No. 22 that hangs from the rafters was replaced with a blue banner
for the season instead of white. ... The teams combined to go 3-13
in the preseason. Orlando was 1-7. ... Mutombo sent Magic players
to the floor twice in the third quarter while fighting for rebounds
that became jump balls. McGrady got up limping after the first.