NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 5th (All times Eastern)
New York Knicks (22-10) at Orlando Magic (12-20), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Orlando Magic will try to snap a season-long, seven- game losing streak Saturday night when they host the New York Knicks at Amway Center.
The Magic last won on Dec. 19 against the Washington Wizards. They have lost five in a row at home and the slide coincides with the loss of Glen Davis to a shoulder injury.
The Magic have dropped every game since Big Baby went to the sidelines. On Thursday, Davis resumed some low-impact drills, but has a long way to go before returning to the lineup.
"There are a lot of other things, it is not just range of motion," said Davis. "Can you take a hit, and your confidence at the same time. The doctors have procedures on how I should feel, so I'm just going to take it one day at a time."
The Magic's most recent setback came Wednesday at home against the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls starting frontline of Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson, in for a sick Joakim Noah, combined for 75 points, 25 rebounds and four blocks.
Orlando was led by 32 points from Jameer Nelson. Nikola Vucevic tallied a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds and Arron Afflalo chipped in 19.
The Knicks halted a two-game slide with a 100-83 thrashing of the San Antonio Spurs at home on Thursday. Carmelo Anthony once again paced the Knicks with 23 points, while J.R. Smith had his fifth-straight 20-plus point night of the bench with 20 in a little over 27 minutes.
"Our communication out there, we were talking to one another, we were very physical," said Smith. "I think that's what we have to do to get back to our old selves, like we are accustomed to. Playing a good Spurs team like that, I was just so happy for our guys."
The Knicks shot 47.6 percent from the field against the Spurs and 44 percent from long distance. The Knicks are fifth in the league in 3-point shooting percentage.
The Knicks were once one of the top defensive teams in the league, but slipped to 13th in opponents' scoring and 20th in opponents' field-goal percentage. New York held the Spurs, the third-leading scoring team, 22 points below their average and 36 percent from the field, which is 12 percentage points lower than normal.
Amare Stoudemire played well in his second game back, scoring 10 points on 4- for-10 shooting in just under 21 minutes.
The Knicks bested the Magic, 99-89 on Nov. 13 in Orlando. Anthony, Smith and Raymond Felton all scored 20 or more en route to that victory, the Knicks' fourth in their last five games against the Magic.
01/05 10:24:03 ET