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Westchester Knicks eliminated by Lakeland Magic in Eastern Conference Semifinals

Not even 48 hours removed from winning their first ever NBA G League playoff game against the Windy City Bulls at the Westchester County Arena, the Westchester Knicks faced off against the Lakeland Magic in a semifinal match-up at the first playoff game at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida. Westchester was without two players, Kadeem Allen and Luke Kornet, who joined the New York Knicks. Kornet tallied 14 points against the Bulls on Wednesday night.

With a six-day layoff Lakeland dominated the action early on, stringing a together a 15-2 run that made it a 23-9 game with less than four minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Knicks were hampered by turnovers; committing seven of them that turned into 16 points for the Magic. That resulted in a 29-18 advantage for Lakeland at the end of the period.

However, the Knicks managed to cut into the deficit at 29-22 with less than 11 minutes to go in the second quarter. Lakeland was very assertive on the glass and getting second chance opportunities that bumped the margin back up to 43-28 with five minutes remaining. Westchester ignited a furious rebuttal with a 15-0 run, tying the contest up with less than two minutes left on the clock. The back and forth action continued as the Magic ended the first half on an 8-2 run to reclaim the lead.

In the third quarter, Lakeland came out of the locker room full of energy, quickly expanding their lead back to double digits. Suki Wiggs provided the bulk of offense for the Knicks, converting a three-point play with four minutes to go, slashing the advantage down to 67-58. On this night the Magic were sizzling from behind the arc as Antonio Campbell drained the ninth trifecta of the game for Lakeland, making it 74-63 heading into the fourth quarter.

Heading into the final frame, the Magic did not cool down from the perimeter, burying three more triples to expand the lead. Turnovers continued to plague Westchester, increasing to 19 as a 12-0 run by Lakeland put the game out of reach. They won 104-91, ending the Knicks’ season.

Wiggs finished with a game-high 23 points, Isaiah Hicks delivered 16 points and 10 rebounds, Billy Garrett had 12 points and Paul Watson added 10 points. Amile Jefferson led Lakeland in scoring with 21 points while BJ Johnson pumped in 20 points. John Petrucelli contributed 15 points and Troy Caupain chipped in with 14 points. The Magic ended up knocking down 15 three’s and sunk of 11 of 13 free throws.

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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