The Knicks came back from a 17-point first-half deficit but were outscored 64-51 in the second half as they lost to the Orlando Magic 131-117 on Sunday at Amway Center. >> Box score
Things to know about Sunday's game
1. After the Knicks trailed 102-99 midway through the fourth quarter, the Magic went on a 10-3 run capped by a Jonathan Isaac three-point play that gave Orlando a 112-102 lead. New York never got closer than five points the rest of the way.
2. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 32 points and Trey Burke added 31 for the Knicks, who have lost five in a row. Enes Kanter recorded a 21-point, 20-rebound double-double in 37:40, though he only scored seven points in the second half.
3. Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 31 points, while Nikola Vucevic recorded 28 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
4. Sunday's game was much closer than last week's matchup, when the Knicks lost 115-89. New York fell behind early, getting outscored 30-13 over the game's first 6:40. The Knicks trailed 44-31 at the end of the first but used a strong second quarter to climb within single digits and trail 67-66 at halftime.
5. As a team, the Knicks recorded just 12 assists, while Orlando totaled 34.
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The Knicks could not have gotten off to a much worse start in this game, giving up 44 points in the first quarter. It didn't help that the Magic weren't missing any shots. They got back into the game in the second quarter, going into the locker room at halftime down by just a point. The problem was they couldn't get more than three guys in a rhythm offensively as they faded away down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Hardaway, Burke and Kanter carried the Knicks in a game in which they surrendered 130 points.
Kanter has been frustrated with his playing time and coming off the bench. That should change soon with Mitchell Robinson struggling mightily. The 20-year-old rookie has played undisciplined defense, leaving the game with five fouls and not returning. He continues to make bad fouls and get dominated by bigger centers. He does not have any muscle to stick it to big guys like Vucevic. Offensively, the only thing he could do is dunk. Playing him in the NBA so soon means the Knicks will need to deal with his mistakes because they don't really have anyone else in a rebuilding season. They hope he grows from his rookie mishaps at such a young age with such little professional experience.
In the backcourt, Burke is taking advantage of his playing time of late as Frank Ntilikina continues to do next to nothing on the offensive end. Burke, who dropped a season-high 31 points, has shown this kind of explosiveness in a Knicks uniform before, most notably when he scored 42 last season in Charlotte in a loss to the Hornets. If Ntilikina continues to not put up any sort of offensive production, head coach David Fizdale has to keep giving Burke 30-plus minutes every night. He's just completely outplaying the second-year Frenchman.
The Knicks return home to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.