for this game

Turkoglu-Lewis duo too much as Magic down Knicks

Dec 27, 2007 - 5:12 AM By Jim Rickenbacker PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- The New York Knicks changed up their frontcourt in an effort to turn around their sagging fortunes. That didn't seem to matter to the Orlando Magic's dangerous perimeter duo of Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis.

Turkoglu scored 26 points and Lewis added 25 as the Magic coasted to their first home win in over a month, 110-96, over the Knicks on Wednesday.

New York coach Isiah Thomas shuffled his lineup by inserting energetic reserve forward David Lee and benching Zach Randolph. And through three quarters, the Knicks - losers of three straight and nine of 11 overall - only trailed by three points at 79-76.

But the duo of Turkoglu and Lewis were too much for the Knicks in the final quarter, combining for 13 of their 26 second-half points to help Orlando forge a 31-20 advantage in the final quarter and give the Magic their first home win at Amway Arena since a 120-99 victory over the Miami Heat on November 24.

"I thought Turk and Rashard were both great tonight," said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy, noting that Lewis kept Orlando afloat in the first half. "And Turk had it going in the fourth, so we kept going to him. But those guys both got a lot of room because of how New York chose to play Dwight (Howard)."

Howard added 16 points and 10 rebounds to notch his 11th consecutive double-double for the Magic, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

"It's frustrating (being double-teamed), but they're going to have to play me or leave shooters wide open," Howard said. "And I think we kept our energy level high in the second half."

Lewis, who expressed his displeasure with his team's defense at halftime, agreed with Howard that the Magic played with a renewed purpose - on both ends - in the second half.

"We were able to stop them, get opportunities and get the lead," Lewis said. "The one thing we've been working on is bringing it home. We have lots of home games in the second half (of the season), so it's important for us to win at home."

Turkoglu and Lewis provided the 3-pointers to offset a flurry of Orlando turnovers and enable the Magic to pull away in the game's final 12 minutes.

"I'm just taking my time, letting the game come to me," Turkoglu said. "I'm not rushing at all. I have my confidence this year. When the game's on the line, you're all ready and you just want to take it over."

Entering the game, Utah and New Jersey were the only two teams with a winning record on the road and losing mark at home.

"Believe me, nobody wants to lose at home," Turkoglu said. "We've been going easy on people and they were doing what they wanted to do. We just stuck it out and played hard. It's about finishing."

Through three quarters, the duo had connected on 6-of-8 from the arc, and Turkoglu scored 10 of the Magic's first 16 points in the fourth to allow Orlando to open up a 95-82 advantage with 7:33 remaining in the game.

Turkoglu's two 3-pointers in the home stretch of the second period helped transform a 48-39 deficit into a 50-48 lead 37 seconds before. Quentin Richardson's buzzer-beater gave the Knicks a 51-50 lead at intermission.

Even though Randolph received the benching, it was Eddy Curry who suffered the biggest loss of playing time, as he logged just five minutes and scored two points. Randolph played 33 minutes and had 22 points and nine boards.

"I picked up two quick fouls and spent most of the night cheering for my team," Curry said. "They had a pretty good rhythm out there for awhile. I know what's going on. We're just trying to find a group of guys to go and win a game. I think coach is trying to do whatever it takes."

"We had 36 good minutes, but the last 12 just got away from us," Knicks guard Jamal Crawford said. "And I'm sure Eddy wants to be out there helping us. It's tough whenever anybody sits that long."

Crawford scored 29 points and Lee had 11 points and 14 boards for New York.

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