Vucevic and Ross lead Magic in win
NEW YORK (AP) — Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic got an unwelcome surprise when the lights in their New York hotel rooms all turned on at 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
Turns out, they didn’t need a full night of sleep — or even All-Star Aaron Gordon — to romp over the New York Knicks.
Terrence Ross scored 22 points, Vucevic had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and the Magic cruised past the New York Knicks 115-89 on Sunday night.
“We wanted to come out knocking from the beginning, and I think that is how we started the game,” Vucevic said. “We took the lead early and we never let them back in the game.”
Orlando struggled to start the season, losing six of its first eight. But the Magic shook off a bizarre and restless night to thump the Knicks, even thriving with Gordon on the bench because of a sprained left ankle.
Harlem native Mo Bamba played his first NBA game at Madison Square Garden and had 15 points and eight rebounds. Evan Fournier added 12 points for the Magic, who have won two straight and four of five.
The Magic made a season-high 17 3-pointers off 42 attempts.
“Coach (Pat) Riley always says it’s a make or miss league, and the night where you shoot the ball like that, everything else is going to go your way,” Orlando coach Steve Clifford said.
Orlando reeled off 10 straight points to start the game, capped by Vucevic’s turnaround jumper that led the Knicks to call a timeout with 7:27 left in the first quarter.
Enes Kanter notched his fifth straight double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds.
He put New York on the board with a tip-in layup, ending a string of eight straight misses to make it 10-2, but it was just too late.
New York hit just 5 of 23 from the field in the opening period and missed each of their seven 3-point attempts.
“We always seem to have a quarter where nothing’s clicking for us. We didn’t see the ball go in,” Knicks coach David Fizdale said.
The Magic closed the first quarter out on a 20-8 run, highlighted by Jerian Grant’s 3 with 0.7 seconds left to lead 30-10.
Orlando never looked back, leading by 34 points during the fourth quarter.
Kevin Knox had 17 points for the Knicks, who’ve lost two straight and four of five.
Mitchell Robinson set a Knicks rookie record with nine blocks, two below the franchise record.
“I can thank coach. He put me in a position to get those blocks,” Robinson said.
New York was held to 33 percent from the field and made just 4 of 27 from deep.
Magic: Gordon got injured in the second half of Friday night’s victory over Washington. Jerrell Martin started at power forward in his place. … Orlando’s previous high mark behind the 3-point line was 16, Oct. 20 at Philadelphia. … The 26-point margin was Orlando’s largest in a victory at Madison Square Garden in team history.
Knicks: The last NBA rookie to post at least nine blocks in a game was Nerlens Noel against Indiana on Feb. 20, 2015. … New York tied a franchise-best record with 15 blocks. … Kanter is the first Knicks to post five straight double-doubles in as many games coming off the bench, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
DRESS TO IMPRESS
New York unveiled its City Edition Uniform for Sunday night’s game which featured a blue and orange trim throughout the jersey and shorts, similar to the set the team wore during the 2015-16 season, paying homage to the 1952-61 Knicks uniform.
Magic: Visit the Washington Wizards on Monday night.
Knicks: Visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.