Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 14th 2024

The New York Knicks will take the court Wednesday night in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

Yet they hope they will get a chance to turn their most recent defeat into a win.

The Knicks will look to bounce back from a controversial setback when they visit the Orlando Magic on Wednesday in a battle of Eastern Conference playoff contenders.

The Knicks reportedly filed a protest Tuesday night related to their 105-103 loss at Houston on Monday. The Rockets snapped a tie when Aaron Holiday sank two free throws after Jalen Brunson was whistled for fouling him on a desperation 3-point attempt with under a second left.

The Magic will be completing a back-to-back home set after losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder 127-113 on Tuesday.

The fashion in which the Knicks lost continued a hard-luck stretch for New York, which will be down at least three key players for its final game before the All-Star break.

Mitchell Robinson (ankle surgery) might miss the rest of the regular season while Julius Randle (separated shoulder) and OG Anunoby (elbow surgery) are out indefinitely. Isaiah Hartenstein (Achilles), who has missed the past two games, is questionable for Wednesday, as is with Donte DiVincenzo (hamstring), who left in the fourth quarter Monday.

Even with their depleted roster, the Knicks overcame a 16-point deficit at Houston and appeared headed for overtime when Holiday missed his last-second shot. But Brunson, who closed out on Holiday, was called for the foul for creating lower-body contact with the Rockets guard. With 0.3 seconds on the clock, Holiday sank the first two shots before missing the last one intentionally.

“Tough way to lose a game,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said Monday night. “Tough way to lose a game.”

After the game, referee Ed Malloy acknowledged the foul should not have been called. He told a pool reporter that “the contact, which occurred after the release of the ball, therefore is incidental and marginal to the shot attempt.”

The Knicks plan to protest, multiple media outlets reported Tuesday night. According to ESPN, only six protests have been upheld in NBA history — none since Dec. 19, 2007, when Shaquille O’Neal was incorrectly called for a sixth foul when he had only five fouls in the final minute of overtime during a game against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks have dropped to fourth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers. The Magic will be playing with an even smaller margin of error in their postseason pursuit. After the loss on Tuesday, Orlando is a half-game behind the Indiana Pacers in the race for the East’s sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot.

The Magic fell for just the third time in the past nine games on Tuesday. Orlando shot 4-for-10 from 3-point range in the first quarter, when it led Oklahoma City by as much as 11 points, before going 7-for-26 (26.9 percent) from beyond the arc thereafter.

The Thunder took the lead for good at 34-32 when Cason Wallace opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer, and they were up by as much as 21 in the fourth period.

“You give them credit for how they played and (how) they came out and hit us early,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said of the Thunder postgame. “I think knowing we have a game tomorrow, you can’t sit in it too long. You’ve just got to bounce back and be ready to go against New York tomorrow night.”

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping