ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Grant Hill has more than earned his coach's
"Grant is just so efficient," Orlando Magic coach Johnny Davis
"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
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."
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.