After opening the game shooting a season-best 78.6 percent in the first quarter, the Magic followed it up by shooting a season-worst 17.6 percent in the second quarter. That turned an 11-point first quarter lead into an 11-point halftime deficit despite 22 points and 8 rebounds from Howard.
Jameer Nelson vs Knicks
Nelson came alive in the second half scoring 23 of his season-high 26 points. It was the most points he has scored in any half this season. Nelson came in averaging only 11.3 points per game in his previous 10.
While Howard cooled down in the second half, he still finished with 30 points and 16 rebounds, his NBA-best ninth 30-point, 15-rebound game this season. In the process he extended his streak of 20-point, 10-rebound games to 11.
In a losing effort, each of the Knicks' Big Three -- Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups -- scored at least 25 points, the second time in four games together they did so in the same game. The Knicks lost both.
With 25 points, Elias tells us that Anthony became the third player in NBA history to score 25-plus in each of his first four games with a team. The only others to do so were Dominique Wilkins with the Los Angeles Clippers, and Wilt Chamberlain with the Philadelphia Warriors.
Billups did most of his damage from the free-throw line making 18 of 20 attempts. He scored 30 points, but made only four field goals. The last player to score 30 points while making four or fewer field goals was Eric “Sleepy” Floyd back in 1991.
Elsewhere around the NBA:
Kidd• Jason Kidd recorded his 107th career triple-double against Philadelphia, most among active players and third-most in NBA history. Oscar Robertson leads all players with 181, while Magic Johnson had 138 for his career.