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Knicks Trip Stumbling Magic

Chris Trotman, Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony’s 19 points and eight rebounds led the New York Knicks to a 96-80 road win, dealing the trouble Orlando Magic their fifth straight loss.

J.R Smith and Tony Douglas scored 15 each for New York (28-27), which pulled to within a 1 1/2 games of Philadelphia for seventh in the East, as they beat Orlando for the second time in eight days. Tyson Chandler added 12 points and 12 boards while shutting down a seemingly distracted Dwight Howard, who finished with just eight points.

Earlier in the day, Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that team management had informed him that star

Chris Trotman, Getty Images

Dwight Howard wanted him fired. Moments later, a playful Howard, who was unaware of Van Gundy’s statements to the media, came up and put his arm around the coach before denying that he’d asked for Van Gundy to be replaced. (Click here for ESPN video of the bizarre presser)

The Knicks, meanwhile, improve to 10-3 under interim coach Mike Woodson, as they prepare for a home-and-home series with Eastern Conference leading Bulls. They’ll host Chicago at 1:00 on Sunday before making a trip to the Windy City on Tuesday night.

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