ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Trey Burke scored 26 points off the bench as the New York Knicks spoiled the return of two of Orlando’s starting lineup by the score of 120-113. Burke hit 12 of his 22 attempted shots in 30 minutes and had four rebounds and six assists. He had 14 of his points in the second quarter as the Knicks started to erase the memory of a bad opening quarter, when they allowed Orlando to score 41 points.
“You know he can put the ball in the hole, and he can get hot. He can control the pace. He’s a guy that when they’re putting a lot of pressure on, if you get him the ball, he’ll be able to get something going. But defensively I thought he was key because he got up on the guy. He was in that locker room, looked like he was dead tired. So that’s how guys are supposed to be when they come in that locker room. Trey was great on both sides of the court.” -New York Knicks Head Coach Jeff Hornacek on Trey Burke’s perfomance
In that first quarter, Orlando played what could have been considered their best opening 12 minutes of the season. The Magic shot 68.4 percent from the floor and hit 5 of their 6 attempts from downtown as they raced out to a 10-point lead. The team was sparked by the return of Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic to the starting lineup.
Gordon missed the last 10 games with a hip injury, struggled to find a rhythm in his first game back a little less than a calendar month. He finished with nine points and five rebounds in the 25 minutes he played. The spring that he was playing with to end the month of January seemed to be missing throughout the game.
Vucevic returned after injuring his hand in the Miami game on December 23rd, scored 19 points and had 6 rebounds. He missed only 3 of his 11 attempted shots in his 24 minutes played.
“Yeah, well his shot making was great, his playmaking was pretty good, there were some out-of-synch possessions with guys trying to hit him on rolls to the basket and whatnot and that’s to be expected but [I] thought he played with great energy.” – Magic Head Coach Frank Vogel on Vucevic’s return to the lineup
Even though the Magic had their top rebounder back in the lineup, he couldn’t help the Magic on the glass, as they were outrebounded 47-39. The Knicks were lead by Enes Kanter, who had 12 in the 21 minutes he played. The rebounding and the Knicks’ team defense allowed them to overcome the early deficit and hold the Magic to 44 points in the second half after allowing 69 in the opening half.
New York had eight second half blocks and the Magic couldn’t figure out how to keep up after having a hot start. Michael Beasley and former Magic center Kyle O’Quinn had three blocks apiece and the Knicks finished the game with 12.
Orlando was led in scoring by Evan Fournier, who had 25 points and finished 9 for 14 shooting from the field. Mario Hezonja had another solid offensive game, scoring 15 points off the bench.
Orlando returns to the court on Saturday for an early evening game against All-Star Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers at 5pm.
Danny Thompson is a sports contributor for Florida National News. | firstname.lastname@example.org