New York Knicks David Fizdale
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The New York Knicks showed some fight on Sunday night, but they couldn’t stave off Nikola Vucevic and the Orlando Magic.

The New York Knicks are going through a serious rough patch. Their 14-point loss to the Magic marked their fifth straight loss and moved New York to a season-worst nine games below .500.

Orlando pounced on David Fizdale’s squad in the first quarter on the back of Aaron Gordon’s 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting in the period. The Knicks were down 13 after the first quarter and gave up an alarming 44 points. But when the bench came in, the Knicks settled down and started to challenge the Magic.

Frank Ntilikina and Damyean Dotson brought energy to the game and the defensive intensity picked up considerably. Moreover, Enes Kanter may not be completely happy with his role on the team, but he’s providing solid production off the bench. He tallied 21 points and 19 boards. His defense is still shaky, but he is still one of the most consistent guys on Fizdale’s roster.

The Knicks overcame their slow start to fight back and challenge Orlando, but this story has a familiar ending. The Knicks chiseled the Orlando lead down to one possession in the fourth quarter, but they allowed Orlando to pull away late in the fourth.

The Knicks are a young team and we all know they are going to take their lumps, but it can’t be easy to go through this type of slump. They’re competing and fighting on most nights, but their late-game execution needs to improve. That should come in time, but it doesn’t make these types of losses any easier.

The fourth quarter flurry that put the Magic over the top came in large part because of Nikola Vucevic. He scored 28 points on 15 shots with 10 rebounds and nine assists to boot. He’s one of the more underrated bigs in the league and he was the x-factor for Orlando once again.

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NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.