The Streak is Over
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New York @
111 - 89
Record: 24-34
Trevor Ariza guarded by Grant Hill in the third quarter (AP Photo)
Trevor Ariza guarded by Grant Hill in the third quarter (AP Photo)
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Grant Hill has more than earned his coach's respect.

"Grant is just so efficient," Orlando Magic coach Johnny Davis said.

"He comes out and does all the right things and after the game, you look up and he's got solid numbers across the board."

On Friday night, Hill scored 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting, and rookie Dwight Howard added 20 points and 15 rebounds to help the Magic beat New York 111-89 on Friday night, snapping the Knicks' three-game winning streak.

Hill scored 13 points during an 8-minute run in the third quarter. He punctuated the run with a 3-pointer that gave Orlando an 88-63 lead with 1:41 left in the period.

Hill is averaging 27.3 points in his last six games, the kind of run that was common before ankle problems sidelined him most of the last four years.

"The rust is coming off," Hill said. "My goal all season has been to keep pushing myself and not accept where I'm at. I feel like I'm continuing to improve. I just need to keep fine tuning my game."

New York, which had cut a 17-point deficit to six just before halftime, struggled against the Magic's zone defense. Stephon Marbury led the Knicks with 22 points, but New York's other four starters combined for only 28 points.

"If we come out mentally ready and we're sharp, it doesn't matter," Knicks coach Herb Williams said. "It's not like they have Shaquille O'Neal or Tim Duncan. Our big guys have to rebound and it has nothing to do with height."

All five Magic starters were in double figures, with Kelvin Cato adding 14 points, Steve Francis 13 points and nine assists, and rookie Jameer Nelson 11 points and seven assists.

The Knicks couldn't get an offensive rhythm going until late in the second quarter when Marbury fueled a 12-4 run that cut the deficit to six. Marbury's back-to-back 3-pointers made it 58-52 with 26 seconds left in the half.

However, Orlando scored five straight before halftime and four more to start the second half to take a 15-point lead. Cato's driving layup made it 67-52 with 11:06 left in the third period.

Hill went on his tear later in the period, hitting three driving layups, two 15-foot jumpers, a pair of free throws and the 3-pointer that gave Orlando a 25-point lead.

New York had won four straight at Orlando. ... The Magic had 38 points in the first quarter, matching their best opening period of the season. ... Knicks G Jermaine Jackson, signed to a 10-day contract Monday, played for the first time. He had two points and two assists. ... Howard had a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds) in the first half for the second straight game. ... Michael Sweetney, who had career highs of 19 points and 12 rebounds in the Knicks' overtime victory over the Lakers on Monday night, had just four points and four rebounds against the Magic.

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