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Curry outplays Howard as Knicks top Magic

Feb 4, 2007 - 5:08 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Eddy Curry was left off the All-Star team and took out his frustration on the Orlando Magic.

Outplaying All-Star big man Dwight Howard, Curry was energized from the start and scored 27 points as the New York Knicks dominated the interior in a 94-86 victory over the Magic.

Making a concerted effort to establish their post players, New York continually attacked Howard, who was plagued by foul trouble for most of the game. He had 15 points and 11 rebounds but compiled his numbers long after the game had been decided.

"You can't help but be a little emotional going against someone you think you should be playing with (on the All-Star team)," Curry said. "He's a great player and deserved it. We'll see what happens next year. I don't know if I made a point out there to anyone who thinks I did or didn't deserve (being an All-Star)."

Howard was impressed with Curry's play.

"Eddy played great. He's a big, big guy down there," Howard said. "He's a load and played a great game. He's improved in every aspect of his game, most of all in the way he demands the ball and directs traffic. Everything he does out there shows he's maturing."

Averaging 19.7 points and 7.0 rebounds entering Saturday's contest, Curry struggled in the Knicks' last game - a sluggish 104-87 loss at Charlotte on Wednesday - collecting just 15 points and four rebounds and never establishing a presence in the paint.

However, after two off days, the Knicks looked like a totally different team. They were led by the 6-11 Curry, who was not selected to the Eastern Conference squad when the reserves were announced Thursday.

"I was upset that I didn't make the All-Star game," Curry said. "Who wouldn't be? I thought I had a realistic chance of making it and it could've gone either way. But I'll just have to wait until next year."

Using a versatile game, Curry scored on a series of post moves and backdoor lobs, even tapping in an errant pass from forward Quentin Richardson with one second left on the shot clock to make it 85-70 with 5:50 left.

"I think Eddy's game was All-Star-like," Knicks forward Channing Frye said. "That's the only thing I'm going to say. I think anytime you play against an All-Star (like Howard), you're going to get hyped up. He always likes a challenge, and Dwight's a great player."

Curry shot 10-of-13 from the field and 7-of-14 from the line. Frye added 18 points for the Knicks, who shot 50 percent (31-of-62).

"You can have two threats," Frye said. "But we don't want to be a jump-shooting team when Eddy's out (of the game). I work too hard on my game to be a complete player to be out there just shooting jumpers. I'm just a pawn in (coach Isiah Thomas') chess board. Whatever he wants, that's what I'm going to give him."

Darko Milicic scored a career-high 19 points for Orlando, which shot just 38 percent (29-of-77) to absorb its fourth loss in its last six games.

"I thought about (the career high) during the game," Milicic said. "But it was tough for me, this really doesn't matter, the career high. You lose a game. It would be different if we won the game. Then I'd be able to enjoy it."

The Magic played their second game with forward Grant Hill, who will miss at least two weeks with a sprained knee.

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