ORLANDO, Fla. — The New York Knicks and Orlando Magic have had trouble winning games this season. In their latest match-up, they had an equally tough time scoring points.
Cole Aldrich had a career-high 19 points and New York beat Orlando 80-79 on Saturday night in a game that had the lowest-scoring quarter in NBA history.
The teams combined to score only 15 points in the second quarter, breaking the mark of 18. The previous NBA low was accomplished three times, the last by Utah and Detroit on March 13, 2005.
Aldrich also had 14 rebounds to help the Knicks win for the second time in 13 games. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 13 points, including a late 3-pointer that proved to the winner.
“A win is a win,” Hardaway said. “We knew we only had three games left including this one and we just want to make use of all three.”
Victor Oladipo had 21 points to lead a Magic team that has lost two straight and dropped their final home game of the season. Tobias Harris added 15 points.
The Knicks scored eight points in the second quarter, shooting 3 for 20 from the field with a pair of turnovers. The Magic had seven points and were 3 for 19 from the field, with seven turnovers.
The seven points scored by Orlando in the period tied a team record for fewest points in a quarter. It also set a Magic record for fewest points in a second quarter.
“It was 8-7 in the second quarter so our defense did a great job of withstanding that quarter,” Hardaway said. “Even though we didn’t score, they didn’t score as well so we just had an all-around great game.”
Orlando overcame its early scoring woes, erased an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit and took a 69-68 lead on Willie Green’s 3-pointer with 5:08 to play.
After it was tied at 73, Elfrid Payton put the Magic back in front 75-73 with a short jumper.
But the Knicks tied it right back up on their next possession on Hardaway’s long jumper from the wing.
Oladipo missed a layup coming out of a timeout and Hardaway was fouled going to basket by Nik Vucevic. He converted on his ensuing free throws to nudge New York back in front 77-75 with 41.6 seconds remaining.
The Magic got the ball into Oladipo’s hands, who tied it again on a driving layup.
The Knicks ran down the clock and Langston Galloway lost the ball on a drive. But the ball eventually found its way to Hardaway, who drilled a 3 to make it 80-77.
Oladipo missed a jumper, and the ball wound up in a tie up between Cleanthony Early and Channing Frye with 6.9 left.
Frye won the ensuing jump and after a long 3-pointer missed for Oladipo, Vucevic had to settle for a layup with 0.9 showing on the clock.
Knicks coach Derek Fisher said he’s not thinking about the lottery, despite having the Eastern Conference’s worst record
“I don’t believe in trying to lose and I don’t think that’s what our organization believes either,” he said. “Whatever that will be, that will be…We just have to go about our business.”