|New York vs Orlando|
|100 - 90|
And for one rare night, the present didn't feel quite so bad.
Rookie Wilson Chandler scored a season-high 23 points, Zach Randolph added 20 points and 11 rebounds, and New York snapped a five-game losing streak with a 100-90 victory over the Orlando Magic on Sunday night.
The Knicks honored Patrick Ewing with a video tribute, a day before their career scoring leader finds out if he's elected to the Hall of Fame. He got a standing ovation, and by the end of the night some of those cheers were going toward Chandler, their first-round pick from DePaul.
"I think he continues to grow. He played a lot of minutes tonight, he played 44 minutes," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "I thought his defensive assignments, he didn't miss any assignments and he was able to follow the schemes."
Ewing is now an Orlando assistant coach. The standing ovation gave Chandler a glimpse of how New Yorkers treat the players who were here during better times.
"When you're winning, it's a great place to be," Chandler said.
That hasn't happened often this season, perhaps the reason Nate Robinson celebrated his powerful last-minute dunk like the Knicks had just won a playoff game.
Fred Jones and David Lee added 13 points apiece for the Knicks, who won for just the third time in 20 games. The other two victories were against Miami, making this their first win over a team other than the league-worst Heat since beating Charlotte on Feb. 27.
Following an 0-5 road trip, the Knicks played at home for the first time since hiring Donnie Walsh as president of basketball operations Wednesday. Walsh was not at the game, and Thomas refused to say if they have spoken yet about the coach's future with the organization.
Hedo Turkoglu scored 22 points for the Magic, who will now have the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. After winning at Cleveland on Saturday, the Magic seemed to run out of gas late in this one after trailing by two with 8 1/2 minutes left.
Jones followed with a 3-pointer and Chandler had consecutive buckets in a 9-0 run that gave the Knicks an 82-71 lead, and they went on to beat Orlando for the first time in four meetings this season.
"It was our worst game of the year by far. Both ends of the floor, no energy," Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We did an awful job. I did an awful job leaving those guys in the game. I should have gone with some other people in a game like that because the guys out there either couldn't or wouldn't.
"We were awful. It was embarrassing. We shouldn't be tired. We played a game yesterday, so what? It's the NBA. You can't use that as an excuse. It was just an awful, awful night."
Dwight Howard had 13 points and 15 rebounds for his 66th double-double of the season, tops in the NBA and two shy of Shaquille O'Neal's franchise record set in 1992-93.
"We were a little flat tonight," Howard said. "Leading up to the playoffs, this is a time where everybody has to be ready. We looked real flat tonight. We can't have nights like this."
Notes: Thomas spent three years working under Walsh in Indiana, coaching the Pacers from 2000-03, and hopes he has another chance. "That will be his decision, but yeah, I hope that's the case," Thomas said. "Whatever role, my job is to work with Donnie and I'm happy to be working with him, and again we had a nice thing going in Indiana that was interrupted, and I think that given the opportunity we could have a nice thing here." ... A fan ran onto the court with Turkoglu shooting free throws in the fourth quarter, coming from behind one basket and running the length of the floor and into the seats behind the other one before security finally caught him.