It wasn’t the upheaval of the century, but it was the upheaval of the young NBA season.
After the Knicks hammered the Magic all Friday night in a massive blowout at the Amway Center, Orlando took revenge at the Garden on Sunday in a stunning 110-104 victory.
Compliant or not, the Knicks suffered the first loss of their season as Manhattan product Cole Anthony scored 21 of his 29 points in the first half, and Terrence Ross scored his 22 points in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks were flying high at 2-0 and as 12-point favorites entering the contest. A monster slam from Mo Wagner of Orlando over Obi Toppin gave Orlando an 86-80 lead with 9:20 to go, and coach Tom Thibodeau called the time out.
The young Magic, arguably the worst team in the NBA, has not wavered. A scout called the Magic before the game a “college team”.
Orlando was clearly upset with what happened in their home opener on Friday as the Knicks appeared to rack it up after taking a 32-point lead midway through the second quarter as thousands of fans of the Knicks celebrated in downtown Orlando.
Julius Randle was left in the game with less than five minutes left on Friday, with the Knicks up 30, which led to a brawl between him and Wendell Carter Jr.
“Thank goodness we have them again in a matter of 24 hours,” Mo Bamba said after the abrupt loss. “We can’t be a team that goes out there and folds. We have to get out and strike first. We have to go out there and stick with them.
In the loss, Randle scored 30 points and Derrick Rose 23, but the Knicks shot 27% from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Knicks, however, survived a scare from center Mitchell Robinson, whose foot tangled with Jalen Suggs and he fell to the ground early in the third quarter.
Robinson, who broke his foot in March, had to be helped off the field by rookie Jericho Sims and a coach and limped to the locker room. However, he returned to the game and ultimately made a foul.
It was a poor performance for the 2020 lottery pick Toppin, who was limited to two points without showing any strength in defense.
The Garden was loaded, but so was the Magic after being pummeled so violently on Friday.
The Magic led 69-66 after a jumper from Anthony with four minutes left in the third before the Knicks rallied again.
Unlike Friday, when the Knicks overwhelmed the Magic at the opening point, the Magic were leading or tied for the opener eight minutes before the Knicks took their first lead.
The Magic were competitive mainly because of Anthony, who shot poorly in Friday’s game. On Sunday, however, Anthony shot 5 of 9 for 3 points.