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Knicks 115, Magic 102: Scenes from a delightful evening of basketball

The Magic were good; the Knicks were better

NBA: Orlando Magic at New York Knicks Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t let their winless start to the season fool you — the Orlando Magic have some fine young talent. They played the Knicks well Monday night, matching almost every Knick run with one of their own. Certain Knicks teams of the past might have even given away the game in the fourth quarter. But not this team. The Knicks struggled offensively down the stretch, with only 19 points in the fourth, but they clamped down on defense and kept the Magic at bay, 115-102.

The much-maligned Julius Randle continued his strong start to the season with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds. He helped shut down No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero, who scored a mere five points in the second half after busting out with 16 in the first half. He also bodied the very annoying Bol Bol into a turnover late, which I found delightful.

RJ Barrett struggled mightily with his shot in the first half, but managed to finish with 20 points on 7-19 shooting. He even hit his first three-pointer of the season...three of them, in fact! He was set up beautifully on the break by Obi Toppin near the end of the third quarter.

But I think it has already become clear that this is Jalen Brunson’s team. The point guard didn’t put up gaudy numbers (21 points, 6 assists), but he really took over the offense on a couple of occasions when the Knicks were struggling to score. Randle kind of lost the plot on offense a bit in crunch time, but he deferred to Brunson late and kept defending. That’s what we want to see!

Great team win! Recap to come.