Published January 13, 2015
The sputtering New York Knicks got their star back and tallied their first season sweep of the Orlando Magic in 15 years.
Carmelo Anthony returned from a three-game absence and had 21 points and eight rebounds in the Knicks 106-94 win over Orlando.
Anthony missed the previous three contests after having fluid drained from his right knee. The Knicks are still without center Tyson Chandler, who's expected to be out a week due to a bulging disc in his spine.
"For him to play 32 and get 21 and eight and we win, I think it was positive night for him," Knicks head coach Mike Woodson said of Anthony.
J.R. Smith added 22 points for New York, which has won two straight on the heels of a four-game skid.
The Knicks last swept the Magic during the 1997-98 season.
Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson netted 14 points apiece, while Kyle O'Quinn chipped in 12 points and 14 boards for the Magic, who have dropped five consecutive contests.
"I think they're the hardest team to defend in the NBA. With Melo and his ability to score and play the 4 and then with four shooters all around him, it's hard to help out and get back," Harris said of the Knicks.
New York jumped all over Orlando early as Smith and Chris Copeland capped a 15-2 run with back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Knicks a 22-7 advantage with 3:49 left in the opening frame.
The Knicks led 26-15 after a quarter of play, but the Magic outscored them 31-25 in the second to pull within 51-46 heading into the break.
The hosts, though, pulled away again in the third as they began the stanza on a 13-6 burst to make it 64-52 before the advantage swelled to 83-65 after three.
The margin reached its apex at 20 in the fourth.
Anthony was 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc ... The Knicks scored 16 points off of 16 Magic turnovers ... Magic center Nikola Vucevic did not play due to an illness.