ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Grant Hill's return has made the Orlando
Magic a better team.
In his seventh game back from surgery, Hill made several key
baskets and scored 26 points, and Steve Francis had 17 points and
six assists as the Magic beat the New York Knicks 105-95 Wednesday
"You can't say too much about Grant," Magic guard DeShawn
Stevenson said. "He does everything. Guards, defends, and gets
into the penalty. I think he played awesome tonight and he's our
leader. We've got to feed off him."
The Magic spoiled a strong performance by New York's Eddy Curry.
Playing in just his second game after missing four straight with a
sprained ankle, Curry had a season-high 29 points and nine
rebounds. However, he left in the fourth quarter with a strained
"It makes me mad because I felt like we had a chance to win the
game," said Curry, adding he would try to play the next game. "I
felt like I let my team down."
With 27 offensive rebounds, the Knicks had plenty of chances to
score, but shot just 36 percent. New York's reserves outscored its
starters 75-20 -- helped by Curry and 24 points from Jamal Crawford.
Stephon Marbury had five points, shooting 0-for-7 from the field.
The Knicks fell to 2-11 this month and 7-20 overall.
The Knicks didn't make a fourth-quarter field goal until 8:14
was left in the period, and only Curry kept them in it at first,
making two free throws, a layup and a three-point play on
Crawford's 3-pointer got New York within six points with 2:11
left, but Hill made two free throws a minute later to ice the game.
Hill scored 12 points in a span of nearly nine minutes in the
third quarter to build Orlando's lead to 76-65 with 3:15 left in
"I've played 35 and 38 minutes the last two games. I'm not
laboring out there, I'm not tired. I'm getting my second wind,"
Hill said. "I feel better -- hopefully that'll continue. Not
necessarily by scoring points every night, but just being able to
contribute and not feeling lost and out of shape and out of rhythm
like I did last week."
All five Magic starters scored in double figures. Stevenson had
14 points, Tony Battie had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Dwight
Howard had 11 points and eight rebounds before fouling out in the
The Magic scored 11 fast-break points and 20 in the paint in the
first quarter, opening a 28-18 lead after the Knicks shot 26
percent. But Curry brought New York back in the second, scoring 14
of his 16 first-half points. He blocked Howard's layup attempt and
ran the court for a layup feed from Marbury that drew New York to
41-39 with 3:51 left in the half.
Howard responded with two free throws and a spin dunk around
Curry to help the Magic take a 52-46 halftime lead.
Knicks starter Quentin Richardson left with 6:05 remaining in
the half because of back spasms. He had six points and six rebounds
in 16 minutes.
The Knicks activated F David Lee and placed F-G Qyntel
Woods on the inactive list. Lee ended up starting, giving New York
its 18th different lineup of the season. He was scoreless in 14
minutes. ... The Knicks are 0-6 on the road against Eastern
Conference teams. ... Orlando has won four of its last five against
the Knicks. ... Curry finished two points shy of a career high.