- Associated Press - Thursday, December 22, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - From Derrick Rose’s performance to a solid night for New York’s reserves, there was plenty to like about this one for the Knicks.

Rose scored 19 points, Kyle O’Quinn had 14 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and New York beat the Orlando Magic 106-95 on Thursday.

Carmelo Anthony and Willy Hernangomez each had 15 points for New York, which has won two in a row since a three-game losing streak. O’Quinn also blocked five shots, Kristaps Porzingis scored 12 points, and reserve Brandon Jennings had 12 assists in 22 minutes.

“O’Quinn was great on the boards and got blocked shots,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said. “Obviously, Brandon had a lot of assists. Again, big game for the bench.”

Orlando led only once, 12-11 on D.J. Augustin’s short jumper with 6:13 left in the first quarter. The Knicks responded with a 16-5 run for a 27-17 lead.

“We were sharing the ball. Everyone was hitting shots and we were having fun out there,” Porzingis said. “That’s when we’re the best.”

Serge Ibaka led the Magic with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Evan Fournier scored 21 points.

“They outplayed us tonight. They played harder,” Fournier said. “They wanted to win more than we did. I think that is why we lost the game.”

Ibaka connected on a hook shot and Fournier made a layup to get Orlando within seven with 1:16 left in the third.

The Magic trailed 82-74 lead early in the fourth when the Knicks started to pull away. Hernangomez made three jumpers and a layup to help New York to a 90-76 lead with 9:13 to go.

Justin Holiday’s 3-pointer with 5:52 remaining extended New York’s lead to 98-80.

Orlando closed to 104-95 on Jeff Green’s free throws with 1:29 left, but Rose scored with 1:08 remaining to help the Knicks close it out.

“We’re building something,” Rose said. “This is the way the game is supposed to be played. It makes it easy. When the ball is hopping like that it’s pretty hard to stop us.”

Green, Nikola Vucevic and Elfrid Payton each scored 10 points for the Magic.

“Credit the Knicks, they played a great basketball game,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. “They had everything going in the first half and they outplayed us.”

TIP-INS

Magic: Ibaka was 10 for 18 from the field, including a 3-for-7 performance from 3-point range. … Orlando dropped to 8-8 on the road this season compared to only 5-10 at home. … The Magic lead the all-time series against the Knicks 52-51.

Knicks: Courtney Lee scored 10 points. … The Knicks are 14-1 when leading after three quarters this season.

JUST GETTING STARTED

It was the first of four meetings between the teams this season. They face each other again on Jan. 2 back at Madison Square Garden.

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The Knicks improved to 11-4 at home. They are 10-2 in their last 12 games at Madison Square Garden.

ANTHONY STAYS MELLOW

Anthony largely stayed away from a New York Post report that George Karl, his former coach in Denver, criticized the star in his soon-to-be published memoirs, “Furious George.”

“It’s irrelevant to me. I don’t have to speak on it,” Anthony said. “Maybe when I write my book later on, ‘Staying Mello.’ Nothing disappoints me anymore. I’m passed being disappointed. I just hope that he finds happiness in what he’s doing and his book. Hopefully, it will bring him happiness.”

UP NEXT

Magic: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. The teams will meet again on Jan. 8 in Los Angeles.

Knicks: Face Boston on Christmas Day in the finale of New York’s three-game homestand. The teams played in Boston on Nov. 11, with the Celtics posting a 115-87 win.


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