90 - 100 Final
  for this game

Chandler, Knicks overcome Magic

Apr 7, 2008 - 2:40 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Patrick Ewing heard the loudest cheers of the night, but the crowd also had an opportunity to applaud for rookie Wilson Chandler and the rest of the New York Knicks

Chandler scored a season-high 23 points as the New York Knicks snapped their latest losing streak at five games by pulling away for a 100-90 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night.

Zach Randolph added 20 and 11 rebounds for the Knicks (21-56), who posted their 21st victory and won for just the sixth time since the All-Star break.

"Everybody came out and played well tonight," Knicks reserve guard Fred Jones said. "Wil (Chandler) came in and gave us good minutes to start with and got himself going. He inspired all of us."

In beating a playoff-bound team for the seventh time this season, the Knicks also won for just the third time in 20 games. Their previous two victories were over league-worst Miami.

New York played its first home game since Donnie Walsh took over as team president in place of coach Isiah Thomas. Walsh was not at the game and Thomas watched his team despite win shooting 36 percent (33-of-92).

Chandler was not one of the players that shot poorly. The first-round pick played a season-best 44:20, shot 7-of-16 and pulled down eight rebounds.

"Wilson did a great job tonight," Thomas said. "I think he continues to grow. He played a lot of minutes. I thought his rebounding was great. I also thought his shot making was great."

"I felt real comfortable today," Chandler said. "I've been going to the gym getting extra shots so I just played with confidence today."

The victory also occurred on the night before Ewing's likely induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Ewing, the franchise's leading scorer, is currently an assistant coach with Orlando and was given a video tribute during a second-quarter timeout.

"When you're winning it's a great place to be at," Chandler said. "The fans want to win. He won when he was here, had a great career and the fans respect that."

The fans will not be giving any tributes to Thomas' team, which needs three wins in the final five games to avoid the 23-59 mark from two years ago under Larry Brown, who was fired after that season and replaced by Thomas.

Dwight Howard recorded his league-leading 66th double-double, collecting 13 points and 15 rebounds while going 3-of-10 from the foul line. Howard's showing at the line was not the only sub-par performance for Orlando, which locked up third place in the Eastern Conference with a 15-point win at Cleveland on Saturday.

"We came out with a little energy, but all of us were a little flat tonight," Howard said. "Leading up to the playoffs, this is a time where everybody has to be ready. We looked real flat tonight. We can't have nights like this."

The Magic shot just 40 percent (32-of-80 and connected on just 9-of-36 the arc. Hedo Turkoglu was 1-of-7 while Rashard Lewis finished 1-of-9 on 3-point attempts.

"We were awful," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "It was embarrassing. We shouldn't be tired. We played a game yesterday, so what? It's the NBA. You can't use that as an excuse."

New York took a four-point edge after three quarters and went on an 16-5 run that gave them an 89-76 edge on a 3-pointer by Nate Robinson with 3:35 remaining.

"Orlando's one of the best teams in the league," Chandler said. "I think we executed (well) and came up with some big plays.

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