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Nobody is hotter on offense than the New York Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis, so Orlando’s first encounter with the 7-foot-Three ahead is perhaps coming at a foul time for the Magic.
After consecutive double-digit residence losses, the Magic will try to cease Porzingis on Wednesday evening after they host the surging Knicks.
Orlando (6-Four) is off to a decent begin, however its final two video games didn’t go effectively. The early-season surge was highlighted by a blowout win over the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 27, however towards the Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics final weekend, little went proper.
The Magic shot 40.7 p.c and misplaced 105-83 to the Bulls on Friday evening. The follow-up didn’t go any higher, as Orlando shot 36.Three p.c, missed 23 of 29 Three-point makes an attempt and wound up with a 104-88 loss to the Celtics.
Attempting to rebound from its first vital adversity of the season happens simply earlier than Orlando begins a four-game West Coast swing that features a go to to Golden State. The journey is a part of a 10-game stretch during which the Magic will play simply twice at residence.
“It’s very important, especially because after that we go to the West Coast,” Orlando heart Nikola Vucevic mentioned of the New York sport. “Those West Coast trips can be very tough and tricky, and we have some tough games to play over there. So, I think it would be very important for us just because we lost two and because we have this road trip.”
The Magic should devise an efficient defensive technique towards Porzingis, who scored 28 factors within the Knicks’ 118-113 residence victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday.
Porzingis is averaging 30.2 factors, second to Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo within the early scoring race, and he leads the league with seven 30-point video games.
“He’s a tough matchup for sure,” Orlando ahead Aaron Gordon mentioned. “He’s so tall and can shoot the ball very well. (He’s) mobile, athletic. He’s a very good player, and he’s doing what New York needs him to do. I’m just going to go out there and make it difficult for him, take him out of his comfort zone, crowd him be athletic, run him up and down the court.”
Gordon, who at 6-9 is 6 inches shorter than Porzingis, will likely be a part of Orlando’s makes an attempt to cease the Latvian, particularly on mid-range photographs and on the perimeter. Porzingis is taking pictures 59.7 p.c on photographs between 10 and 19 toes and is a 38.eight p.c Three-point shooter.
“It’s a nightmare trying to figure out a game plan how to stop him when he’s shooting the ball from 10 feet above everybody else’s head, whether it’s in the post or at the 3-point line,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “Just a remarkable talent and one of the most unique guys in the league to try to game-plan for. We’ve just got to try to do our best.”
Porzingis’ surge is among the many the explanation why New York (6-Four) owns the identical file as Orlando, although it was a unique path for the Knicks. New York dropped their first three video games, however since a 110-89 loss at Boston on Oct. 24, they’re 6-1.
New York can also be proving to be robust within the fourth quarter. The Knicks got here again from 19 right down to beat Indiana by seven on Sunday and rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat Charlotte.
Porzingis scored 17 factors within the fourth quarter Sunday, and Doug McDermott scored half of his 20 factors within the last interval Tuesday. In their final two fourth quarters, the Knicks outscored their opponents 71-36 whereas holding Indiana and Charlotte to a mixed 32.5 p.c taking pictures (14-for-43).
“We’re not giving up,” New York coach Jeff Hornacek mentioned. “We’ve gotten down in some of these games, and it’s an emphasis like, ‘Hey, keep playing.’ The game is not always won or lost in the first or second quarter. It’s a 48-minute game. That’s why I’m happy for these guys.”
“We fought,” mentioned Knicks ahead Lance Thomas, who’s a plus-41 within the final two video games after taking part in each fourth quarters. “We scrapped. … We had a tough battle the other night with Indiana, and we had to come from behind to get the win. We had some resolve to come back.”
New York’s efficiency within the last quarter additionally keyed its final win within the sequence with Orlando, on March 6 in Florida. The Knicks held the Magic to 13 factors on 18 p.c taking pictures within the final 12 minutes and picked up a 113-105 victory.