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Magic 94, Knicks 89

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

That sound you hear is thousands of sobbing Knicks fans around the world. That one stung. The Knicks kept close, but a poor third quarter, some clutch play by Jameer Nelson, and one bogus call helped the Magic pull away in the game and in the playoff race. Nelson hit two huge three-pointers in the last minute, and Dwight Howard got away with a textbook goaltend to ice the Knicks. Game notes:

  • Before tip-off, Dwight Howard rubs Bo Outlaw's bald head. I wonder if the Knicks rub Jerome James' belly.
  • Speaking of the LoveTub, James was the first Knick off the bench. He immediately had a rebound taken from him by Jameer Nelson. Later on, though, he had some nice defensive plays and a solid posterization of Darko Milicic. A couple airballs and 3 fouls sent him right back to the bench, though, with a semi-sarcastic ovation from the Garden crowd.

    Aww yeah. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Why does Keyon Dooling always have an angry face? It's like he's really pissed off every time he goes on the court. Or he's shitting his pants.
  • Isiah was ready to brawl in this one. On one play, Tommy Nunez Jr. very emphatically made a charge call against the Knicks, even going so far as to stand a few inches from Thomas when he signaled to the scorer's table. Isiah's eyes lit up like Kurt Thomas' used to, and he started pacing and licking his lips. I seriously thought he was gonna go apeshit on the ref. More on that later.

    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • The Knicks were settling for shitty jumpers in the first quarter, but were electrified in the second. Marbury was getting to the basket at will, and Robinson and Balkman connected in transition on two consecutive plays to end out the half.
  • The best way I can describe Clyde's suit jacket is "cookie monster blue".
  • A little public service announcement: If you are a child who wants to participate in the halftime talent contest, do not sing. I've seen enough of these to tell you that the one kid who plays an instrument ALWAYS beats the shitty singers. I think it's because most people can tell when you screw up vocals, but don't detect at all when you fuck up some Beethoven. A piano or violin will usually do the trick. Oh, and the younger the better.
  • What do you call a Magic player? Magician? This is why team names that aren't decidedly plural should be outlawed.
  • In the third quarter, confetti randomly started raining down from the Garden rafters. Breen hypothesized that it might have been remnants from last night's Elton John concert. You might say that Sir Elton brought his gayness on tonight's Knick game.
  • In the fourth quarter, Curry air-balled a free throw and then swished the next.
  • Malik Rose pulled his signature chair pull/shorts tug on Darko Milicic, with total success. Commenter DoctorK16 made a good point when he wondered why the league hasn't made note of this yet. Because it's hilarious, that's why.
  • Rose appeared to badly hurt his finger at one point, and then immediately fucked up an alley-oop pass to Curry. I'm no basketball expert, but generally when you jam your finger, it's probably best not to attempt a pinpoint lob pass immediately afterwards.
  • I said I'd mention Isiah again. Well, on one of the last plays of the game, Marbury drove to the hole and had his shot very obviously goaltended by Dwight Howard but there was no call, to everyone's (evern Howard's) surprise. Isiah looked like he was ready to knife someone, running way too far out onto the court and reaming out the referees. He nearly went Wayne Brady on some refs. I'll tell you what...Isiah may not always be the best decision-maker, but I love his passion. The guy really cares for this team deep down in his heart.

    "Is Isiah Thomas gonna have to choke a bitch!?" (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Mardy Collins looked pretty solid in 23 minutes. He's got decent hands around the basket but by no means should he ever shoot from the outside. I don't care if he was wide open on a pool-sized rim. Mardy Collins may not shoot.
  • Steve Francis is a black hole. To quote the immortal Olden Polynice from the classic film, Eddie, "a black hole is a theoretical object in space. It is so dense that matter collapses... and light itself cannot escape." I think that sums up Stevie's game these days.
  • Some other individual performances...Channing Frye did absolutely nothing (OK, he had 7 rebounds, but still)...Curry was kinda blah. He had 17 and 4, but never really dominated at all...Except for his mini-altercation at the end with Jameer Nelson, and his defensive breakdown towards the end, Nate Robinson was very composed and showed very solid distribution and decision-making. He had 4 assists and only took 3 shots in 19 minutes...Humpty looked great in transition and in the passing lanes, but committed a number of bonehead fouls and took a jumper or two too many.
Yeah. It was a heartbreaking, disappointing game, but at least they stuck with it. It's really hard to expect much from a team that has only 2 or 3 guys that can hit an open jumper on the active roster. Either way, this was a big blow to the Knicks' playoff hopes, and save for a miraculous run against tough competition, this season looks to be winding down for the worn out Knicks. It'd be cool if this tumble suddenly kicked them into "nothing to lose" mode and they played with spoiler abandon in the upcoming games. I'll keep hoping. Thanks to everyone who commiserated with me on the game thread. The community we have here is what makes this site worthwhile for me. Keep it coming. Back tomorrow. Peace.