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Orlando (14-17) at New York (20-12) 8:00 pm EST ---------------------------------------------------------------- NEW YORK (Ticker) -- The surging New York Knicks go after their sixth consecutive victory Thursday night when they play host to the Orlando Magic.
The Knicks are on a season-high five-game winning streak and have held 26 straight opponents under 100 points. They are coming off a 100-91 victory over the Boston Celtics, the last opponent to reach the century mark against the Knickerbockers.
Allan Houston scored nine of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Knicks. He connected on 9-of-12 shots and 6-of-7 free throws in 39 solid minutes. Houston is averaging 31 points in the last two games, but the Knicks are getting it done with a team effort and balanced scoring. They had six players score in double figures against Boston.
New York will again be without Glen Rice who is ailing with soreness in his foot. But the team did regain the services of C/F Marcus Camby against Boston. After having missed four games with a left groin injury, Camby scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds in 27 minutes.
The Knicks are 9-6 at Madison Square Garden this season.
Orlando is looking for an identity after wavering most of the season with uncertainty over their All-Star forward Grant Hill, who underwent a second surgery on his left ankle on Wednesday.
In Hill's absence Tracy McGrady has become the team leader. He averages 25.6 points per game while Darryl Armstrong chips in with 14.9 ppg.
The Magic have lost three of their last five games and fell to the New Jersey Nets in their last outing. The Nets nearly squandered a 22-point fourth-quarter lead, but regrouped in time to hold on for a 120-110 victory over the Orlando Magic to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Troy Hudson scored a career-high 30 points and Darrell Armstrong and McGrady added 17 each for the Magic, who lost to the Nets for the first time in three meetings this season.
The Magic are only 5-10 on the road.
Orlando beat New York, 85-84, in their previous meeting this season. McGrady had 25 points and 11 rebounds in that game while Latrell Sprewell led the Knicks with 22 points.
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