It wasn’t the upset of the century, but it was the upset of the young NBA season.
After the Knicks hammered the Magic all night Friday in a massive blowout at Amway Center, Orlando exacted revenge Sunday at the Garden in a stunning 110-104 upset victory.
Complacent or not, the Knicks suffered their season’s first loss as Manhattan product Cole Anthony went for 21 of his 29 points in the first half, and Terrence Ross scored all 22 of his points in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks were flying high at 2-0 and as 12-point favorites entering the contest. A monster slam by Orlando’s Mo Wagner on Obi Toppin put Orlando ahead 86-80 with 9:20 left, and coach Tom Thibodeau called timeout.
The young Magic, arguably the NBA’s worst team, didn’t wilt. One scout called the Magic before the game “a college team.”
Orlando was clearly ticked off at what transpired Friday in its home opener as the Knicks seemed to pile it on after building a 32-point lead midway through the second quarter as thousands of Knicks fans celebrated in downtown Orlando.
Julius Randle was left in the game with less than five minutes remaining on Friday, with the Knicks up 30, leading to a fracas between him and Wendell Carter Jr.
“Thank God we have them again in a matter of 24 hours,” Mo Bamba said after the brutal loss. “We can’t be a team that goes out there and lies down. We’ve got to go out and hit first. We’ve got to go out there and stick it to them.”
In the loss, Randle scored 30 points and Derrick Rose 23, but the Knicks shot 27 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Knicks, however, survived a scare from center Mitchell Robinson, whose foot got entangled with Jalen Suggs and he fell to the floor early in the third quarter.
Robinson, who broke his foot in March, had to be helped off the court by rookie Jericho Sims and a trainer and went to the locker room, limping. However, he returned to the game and eventually fouled out.
It was a poor showing for 2020 lottery pick Toppin, who was held to two points while not showing force on defense.
The Garden was charged up, but so were the Magic after getting pummeled so badly Friday.
The Magic led 69-66 after an Anthony jumper with four minutes left in the third before the Knicks rallied again.
Unlike Friday when the Knicks overwhelmed the Magic from the opening tip, the Magic led or were tied for the game’s opening eight minutes before the Knicks took their first lead.
The Magic were competitive mostly because of Anthony, who shot poorly in Friday’s game. Sunday, however, Anthony shot 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
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