New York, NY (Sports Network) - Dwight Howard recorded his 55th double-double on the season, with game-bests of 29 points and 14 rebounds, as Orlando erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to edge the struggling New York Knicks, 106-102, in the latter half of a home-and-home set from Madison Square Garden.
Courtney Lee added a career-high 22 points, including some clutch free throws down the stretch, for the Magic, who have won three in a row and six of seven overall. Hedo Turkoglu chipped in 16 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and had eight boards, while Rashard Lewis chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.
Orlando sits at the top of the Southeast Division, but still trails Cleveland by five games for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Magic are a game behind Boston for second in the East and will host the Celtics on Wednesday.
Nate Robinson scored 19 points, pulled down seven rebounds and doled out six helpers for the Knicks, who have dropped five straight contests to fall 4 1/2 games off the final playoff spot in the East. Quentin Richardson and Wilson Chandler dropped 17 points apiece in defeat, while Chris Duhon had 16.
David Lee matched Howard atop the NBA with his 55th double-double, on 14 points and 13 boards.
With the home team down by three with about three minutes left in the game, Richardson hit a three to tie it up at 93.
Rafer Alston, though, responded with a three, Courtney Lee dropped in a pair from the line and Alston then went 1-for-2 at the stripe, as the Magic assumed a 99-93 lead with 49.4 ticks left.
Chandler was immediately fouled by Lewis, before the ball was inbounded, and was granted a shot and the ball. He hit the shot, however, Richardson bricked a three on the following possession and Howard grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
Howard went 1-of-2, and Robinson offered a three-point play to make it 100-97 with just over 36 seconds left.
The Magic came down and, as Alston air-balled a three, a scrum ensued which ended with Richardson getting and hitting a pair of free throws to make it 100-99 with 13.4 ticks remaining.
Courtney Lee was fouled with 12.4 seconds left and nailed both shots to make it a three-point game.
The Knicks had a chance to tie it, but Robinson's three-pointer from the top of the arc was off the mark. Orlando held on from there.
The clubs played to a 24-24 tie after the first quarter, but the Knicks opened a 54-50 advantage at the break.
Four points from Chandler opened a 66-57 Knicks lead with 5:42 left in the third period.
The teams traded baskets and New York was still on top by nine, 79-70, after three quarters of play.
Richardson's three-pointer gave the home team an 82-72 lead early in the fourth frame. Trailing by six later in the fourth, Turkoglu nailed a three to spark a 9-0 Orlando run. Courtney Lee and Howard had baskets on the surge before Turkoglu closed it with a layup to give the visitors a 93-90 lead with 3:20 left to play.