Dwight Howard inspires the Magic with 30 points in their 116-110 win, while the Dallas Mavericks make it seven wins on the spin.
Orlando Magic bring Melo and Knicks down to earth
ORLANDO // Orlando brought the New York Knicks back to Earth with a bump with Dwight Howard grabbing 30 points in the Magic's 116-110 win.
Howard, dubbed "Superman" by fans, also claimed 16 rebounds and five blocks as the Magic overcame an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to deny the new-look Knicks their second successive win over an Eastern Conference power.
While Howard opened with 17 points in the first quarter, it was teammate Jameer Nelson who took the spotlight in the closing stages, recording 14 of his 26 points in the fourth.
"[Howard] is the reason why we are who we are. We play inside out, and we have guys who can make plays for each other," Nelson said.
"[The Knicks] have three of the better players in the league. We're a pretty good offensive team as well."
The Knicks (30-28) beat the Miami Heat on Sunday in their first major test since acquiring All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony and point guard Chauncey Billups in last week's trade.
While New York got 30 points from Billups and Amare Stoudemire, and 25 from Anthony, Orlando's 20-6 run spanning the third and fourth quarters put the home team in control.
Down the stretch, Nelson nailed 11 consecutive Orlando points to give his team a 108-99 advantage with 4:35 to go.
Ryan Anderson made four three-pointers and scored 16 points to help the Magic overcome the loss of forward Hedo Turkoglu, who was ejected with a second technical foul in the second quarter after he said something to a referee from the bench.
The Magic (39-22) won their third in a row and remain fourth in the East. The Knicks are in sixth place.
Elsewhere, Jason Terry scored 30 points as the Dallas Mavericks made it seven wins in a row with a 101-93 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Jason Kidd also weighed in with a triple-double — 13 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds — and Dirk Nowitzki sank 22 points as Dallas climbed to second place in the Western Conference.
Pau Gasol's 12 points and 17 rebounds, and 24 points from Kobe Bryant helped the Los Angeles Lakers to a 90-79 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Darrell Arthur and Zach Randolph each scored 21 points as the Memphis Grizzlies eased to a 109-93 triumph over the San Antonio Spurs.
Danny Granger was perfect from 16 free throws as his 27 points helped the Indiana Pacers to a 109-100 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Jose Calderon's 22 points and 16 assists saw Toronto to a 96-90 win over the New Orleans Hornets - only the Raptors' fourth victory in 24 outings.
Brandon Jennings nailed two free throws in the final seconds of the contest to break the tie game and lift the Milwaukee Bucks to a 92-90 triumph over the Detroit Pistons, while Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry sank 21 points apiece as the Houston Rockets won 103-87 against the Portland Trail Blazers.