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RECAP: Julius Randle triple-double leads New York Knicks past Orlando Magic

Mar 18, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Orlando Magic guard Chasson Randle and New York Knicks guard Frank Ntilikina dive for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 18, 2021, in New York. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Reggie Bullock scored 20 points and came up with a big steal with 5.9 seconds left as the host New York Knicks held on for a 94-93 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night.

Bullock saved the Knicks from completely collapsing after they blew a 16-point, third-quarter lead and trailed by five points twice in the fourth. The Knicks held a 94-90 lead after Alec Burks hit a floater in the lane with 31.5 seconds left but Orlando drew within 94-93 on Evan Fournier’s 3-pointer with 27.6 seconds left.

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The Knicks had a chance to clinch the win but Bullock got tied up by Fournier and lost a jump ball with 19.5 seconds left. After Orlando called a timeout, Aaron Gordon inbounded to Fournier, who moved around a screen by Nikola Vucevic but Bullock trailed Fournier and came up with the clutch steal beyond the 3-point line.

Burks led the Knicks with 21 points and also added 10 assists. Julius Randle posted his third triple-double of the season with 18 points, a career-high 17 assists and 10 rebounds as the Knicks shot 43 percent and bounced back from close losses to Brooklyn and Philadelphia.

Fournier scored 23 points for Orlando, which lost its ninth straight game. Gordon and Vucevic added 17 apiece for the Magic, who shot 42.7 percent

After allowing the game’s first five points, the Magic took a 20-10 lead on Fournier’s one-legged 3-pointer with 5:50 left in the first quarter. New York outscored Orlando 14-6 the rest of the frame to get within 26-24 after 12 minutes, before taking a 45-44 lead by intermission.

Randle’s 3-pointer put New York up 72-56 with 1:59 left in the third but Orlando scored the final 10 points of the quarter and got within 72-66 after Khem Birch hit a bank shot with one second left. Orlando regained the lead when Fournier’s 3-pointer made it 75-74 with 9:54 left in the fourth.

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Orlando took its second five-point lead of the fourth at 87-82 on Vucevic’s 14-footer with 5:15 left but the Knicks took an 88-87 lead on Frank Ntilikina’s 3-pointer with 3:49 remaining. Randle then hit two jumpers to give the Knicks a 92-87 edge with 2:39 left.

Orlando had a chance to retake the lead when Bullock missed a 3-pointer with 56.4 seconds left in the third but Dwayne Bacon missed a wide-open 3-pointer with 44.7 seconds to go.

–Field Level Media