Wizards at Knicks Final: Wiz avoid late collapse, beat Knicks 106-103

Bradley Beal leads the way with 25 points including two key free throws down the stretch as the Wizards hang on to beat the Knicks, 106-103. John Wall added 24 points while Marcin Gortat was a perfect 7-7 from the field for 16 points as the Wizards avoid a #SoWizards collapse for their 48th win of the season.

The Knicks were playing loose and freely throughout this one as they’d already been eliminated from playoff contention. New York started the game 6-6 from the field for an early 14-10 lead. Washington answered with a 10-0 run of their own highlighted by Wall weaving his way through the lane for a nice throw-down jam.

Wall was a perfect 4-4 from the field for 10 points as the Wizards led, 33-27 after one quarter.

The feisty Knicks would not go away. New York put out a roster that resembled that of a D-League team but were able to keep the game within striking distance and climbed within three points of Washington in the second quarter. A late 6-0 run from Washington stretched the lead to eight, 59-51 at halftime.

Beal and Gortat picked up where they left off connecting on their first shots of the third quarter while Wall was trying out some new And-1 moves against the helpless Knicks. The Wizards stretched the lead to 15, 71-56 and it looked like they might run away with this one. However, some hot shooting from Sasha Vujacic to end the third quarter had the Knicks within seven 82-75 entering the fourth quarter.

Washington has been playing some bad defense as of late and it was on display in the fourth quarter. The Knicks went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two and suddenly, Washington was in trouble. After tying the game at 97, Wall drove for a layup and then drove for a monstrous dunk to put the Wizards back up four, 101-97.

But unlike other lottery teams, the Knicks still have a star in Carmelo Anthony. Anthony scored six points down the stretch to tie the game. With under a minute remaining, Beal drove baseline and found Bogdanovic who kicked it back to beal for three as the Wizards took a 104-101 lead.

Carmelo would brick a three-pointer as time was winding down as the Wizards escape with the 106-103 victory.

The Kelly Oubre experience continues

Kelly Oubre continues his hot stretch off the bench this time, with 13 points and five rebounds. Once again, Oubre outscored Porter and received more playing time than Otto as Oubre was in for the entire fourth quarter. The second-year player was tasked with guarding Carmelo Anthony down the stretch and did about as good of a job as one could do. On the offensive end, Oubre stayed in attack mode both from three-point range and in attacking the hole.

This is very reminiscent of Otto Porter who had his coming out party just prior to and during the 2014-2015 playoffs.

Marcin Gortat gets his rhythm back

After some tough games, Gortat got back in a groove on 7-7 shooting for 16 points. Gortat had a pretty favorable matchup as he went up against Willy Hernangomez for most of the evening. Regardless, it was nice to see Gortat get back in a groove.

The Wizards almost #SoWizards this game away

Washington led by 15 midway through the third quarter against a roster that might lose to some D-League teams yet they let New York back in this one. The Wizards only gave up 103 points, which is an improvement, but the defense is still not back. As a result, unlikely players caught fire and the Knicks were able to tie this game late in the fourth quarter. Fortunately for Washington, they were still able to get the win.

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All five starters score in double figures as Wiz cruise to 117-101 win over New York.

All five Wizards starters scored in double figures led by Bradley Beal with 28 and Markieff Morris with 24 as the Wizards blowout the Knicks, 117-101, en route to their 15th straight victory at Verizon Center. John Wall was magnificent again tonight with 15 points to go along with 13 assists and Kelly Oubre Jr. was a nice spark off the bench with 14 points. The Wizards are riding a five-game win streak and have won nine of their last 10 games overall.

Unlike past games, the Wizards got off to a slow start in this one. Washington started just 4/11 from the field and found themselves down 16-8, early. John Wall dazzled the crowd as he raced down court and spun through the lane for this acrobatic layup.

That sparked the Wizards on a quick 6-0 run. Carmelo Anthony exploded for 13 points in the first period as the game was tied at 28 after one.

The Wizards were a bit sloppy in the second quarter as they committed seven of their 12 turnovers. New York couldn’t capitalize, though. Washington used a 10-2 run to get back in this game and led, 59-54 at halftime.

Unlike the first quarter, the Wizards were red hot to start the second half. The team connected on eight of their first 11 field goals and used a 14-3 run to take a commanding, 75-56 lead. Otto Porter, who was held scoreless in the first half came alive, knocking down five of his six shots in the period as he had 10 points in the quarter.

The Wizards led 91-76 through three quarters.

The Knicks used a mini 6-0 run to cut the lead to 13 early in the fourth quarter but the Wizards had an answer. Baskets from Burke, Morris, and Oubre ended that run putting the Wizards up 20 as they’d coast to another victory at home.

Washington wins, 117-101.

Wizards get off to a slow start

In what seems like the first time in ages, the Wizards actually got off to a slow start tonight. The team connected on just four of their first 11 field goals and found themselves in an early 16-8 hole. Fortunately, this game was against the Knicks, a team not too fond of playing defense. Even with the slow start, the Wizards were tied at the end of the first quarter and went on to blowout the Knicks.

Markieff Morris’ January to remember continues

Morris notched another double-double tonight with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Morris shot 9-14 from the field and was 2-5 from three-point range. The article from Bleacher Report saying Morris wasn’t a top-30 Power Forward really lit a fire on him as January 2017 was the best month of his career. This is the player the Wizards faithful envisioned when management traded for him at the deadline last year.

The Aussie’s didn’t make things easy, but the Americans sneak out with a 98-88 victory.

With 1:30 to play, Kyrie Irving hit a step-back three similar to the one in Game 7 of the Finals for the proverbial dagger as the United States hangs on to beat Australia, 98-88.

Carmelo Anthony was the high-scorer for the Americans scoring 31 points on 9-15 shooting from three-point range. With this scoring output, Carmelo passed LeBron James for most combined points scored by an American.

Australia was not intimidated. They punched the Americans in the face and as a result, the US was tentative and frustrated at times. Things got chippy between Paul George and Matthew Dellavedova early as the two got tangled up resulting in a technical foul for George.

The Australians don’t have a stretch-4 and Carmelo Anthony took full advantage of the mismatch. Melo scored 14 points in the first quarter on 5-7 shooting including 4-5 from three-point range.

It looked like the United States might separate from the Aussie’s as they started the second quarter on a 7-2 run but Australia countered with a 7-0 run of their own. The Australians shot an incredible 68 percent from the field and led, 54-49 at halftime.

After going just 2-10 from the field in the first half, Kevin Durant hit his first jumper of the third quarter. That wouldn’t get the All-Star going.

Things continued to stay chippy as Andrew Bogut fouled Kyrie Irving along the sideline which resulted in Irving laying on the floor; but no technical foul was called.

Anthony caught fire again to start the fourth quarter connecting on his first three three-pointers. Kyrie Irving came alive connecting on several key shots as the duo scored 26 of the team’s 28 fourth quarter points.

Kyrie Irving would hit a step back three to all but ice the game. It wasn’t easy, but the Americans sneak out with a 98-88 win.

Kyrie and Carmelo Takeover: Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony combined to score 26 of the 28 fourth quarter points for the Americans. It was Carmelo early, knocking down three three-pointers just minutes into the quarter and Irving late with several nice shots including a step-back three to ice the game. Melo was hot early and late evidenced by his 14 first quarter points and 13 fourth quarter points.

New Golden State Trio: The trio of Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green struggled tonight shooting a combined 8-30 from the field for 27 points. Thompson was taken out of the starting lineup in favor for Paul George. Thompson hit his first three of the game and it looked like he may have turned the corner but that wasn’t the case as he went 1-8 from the field the rest of the way. Durant’s shot was off tonight and tried to counter that by getting to the line. Only thing is, in international play, you’re allowed to commit more contact so calls he would have received in an NBA game, he wasn’t getting tonight.

The Americans are back in action on Friday where they’ll take on Serbia.

After Sluggish Start, Americans Roll Past Venezuela, 113-69.

After being all tied up at 18 after one quarter, the USA Men’s basketball team would flip the switch outscoring the Venezuelans 95-51 the rest of the way and would win comfortably, 113-69. Five Americans scored in double figures tonight led by Paul George with 20 points off of the bench.

The Americans got off to a slow start hitting just 3-8 field goals to start the game. Things got chippy as the United States racked up fouls quickly including DeMarcus Cousins who was forced to the bench early with two fouls (Only 5 fouls permitted in International play).

The Venezuelans like to play slow and control the pace of the game often using most of the 24 second shot clock. This affected the United States early as they could not get out and run. As a result, the Americans found themselves all tied up at 18 where they committed six turnovers to go along with 10 fouls in a sloppy first quarter performance.

The United States would use a 19-2 run led by Carmelo Anthony with 10 points in the second period to stretch this lead to 22, 48-26 at halftime.

The onslaught would continue as Jimmy Butler would come alive hitting several jumpers as well as DeArndre Jordan who made his first six field goals of the game, many on put back dunks.

With the game out of hand, Paul George put the icing on the cake when he took this defensive rebound the length of the court to punish the rim.

After a minor scare, the Americans roll to a 113-69 victory over Venezuela.

The Americans take on Australia on Wednesday at 6 P.M.

Wizards down 18 early, comeback to beat Knicks 99-89.

The Knicks led by 18 midway through the second quarter and things looked bleak. But the Wizards used a huge third quarter outscoring the Knicks 33-13 to take the lead and beat the Knicks 99-89. All five Wizards starters scored in double figures led by John Wall with 24 points and Markieff Morris with 17. The win is the Wizards’ fourth straight and keeps them 1.5 games out of the final playoff spot.

The Wizards started a cold 2-8 from the field which allowed the Knicks to take an early 12-4 lead. Otto Porter was ice cold missing his first five shots of the game.

Melo had his way early doing his damage first against Garrett Temple and then against Otto Porter. The Knicks stretched the lead to 17, 45-28 on a jumper from Melo and it looked like the Wizards would be in trouble.

The Wizards were able to slice into that lead and trail by just 10, 53-43 at halftime.

The Wizards started the quarter on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to one highlighted by this pass from Wall to Morris for the alley-oop dunk.

Gortat did most of his damage in the third quarter scoring 11 of his 15 points as the Wizards would outscore the Knicks 33-13 in the period and retake the lead 76-66.

The Knicks got within four on two straight threes from Kristaps Porzingus but wouldn’t get any closer. Wizards win 99-89.

Marfieff Morris shuts down Carmelo Anthony: Melo had his way in the first half when Temple and Porter were guarding him. In the second half? Not so much. Melo did score 20 points tonight but it took him 21 shots. Morris was all over Melo and was very physical with him. Melo was unable to get past Morris and would often have to settle for jumpers. Overall, it was a great job defensively.

Wizards limit turnovers: The Wizards committed just 10 turnovers tonight and most importantly, John Wall had just one. Wall wasn’t as loose with the ball as he’s been in prior games and didn’t really force anything. Crazy what happens when you cut your turnovers in half right?

Wizards vs. Knicks final score: Carmelo Anthony drops 37 to beat Wizards 117-110

Bradley Beal scored 26 and John Wall had 25 but Carmelo Anthony stole the show with 37 points as the Knicks outlasted the Wizards 117-110 and spoiled the Wizards’ home opener.

The Wizards had no answer for Carmelo Anthony and that was apparent early. The Wizards trusted Otto Porter early to guard Anthony but he scorched him for 10 points in the first quarter and 18 for the half shooting a very efficient 6-8 from the field.

Drew Gooden and Ramon Sessions provided a nice spark off the bench for the Wizards. Gooden scored nine points off the bench in the first half, including two put back lay-ins and per usual, Ramon Sessions continued to thrive in transition keeping the Knicks on their heels.

Even though the reserves scored 24 points in the first half, that wouldn’t offset the hot shooting from Carmelo Anthony as the Wizards were down 59-56 at halftime.

Carmelo Anthony continued his hot shooting knocking down his first two three-pointers of the second half as the Knicks stretched the lead to nine, 69-60 at the 7:10 mark. The Wizards looked like a team coming off the second game of a back to back as there was very little energy to start the second half.

On a positive note, Bradley Beal woke up in the second half to the tune of 22 points on 8-16 shooting after going just 1-7 in the first half. Beal was very aggressive in the second half and knocked down a clutch three-pointer as time expired in the third quarter as the Wizards led 90-87.

The lead seesawed back and forth for the entire fourth quarter. Beal had another hot fourth quarter in back to back nights, this time scoring 11 of the Wizards’ 20 points in the fourth quarter.

It wouldn’t be enough as Carmelo Anthony and some key baskets late from Lance Thomas and Langston Galloway enabled the Knicks to pull away and win this one 117-110.

Wizards continue to get to the line: In back to back nights, the Wizards got to the line 20 times in the first half, this time knocking down just 15. Many of these free throw attempts were from the Wizards up-tempo speed with Wall and Sessions drawing contact in transition. The Wizards went 26-32 from the charity stripe for the game; a very efficient 81 percent.

The Knicks bench outplayed the Wiz bench: The Wizards bench didn’t play bad tonight, the Knicks’ bench just played better. The Knicks bench outscored the Wizards’ 50-32 and opted to keep some of their reserves in down the stretch. Drew Gooden and Nene combined for 19 points but were horrific on the defensive end. Nene fouled out in just 18 minutes whereas Drew Gooden was often gambling for steals that weren’t there.

The Wizards defense is very much a work in progress: The Wizards gave up 117 points tonight after giving up 113 the night before.  That’s just bad. What happened to the Wizards’ top-5 defense we were used to seeing last year? Carmelo Anthony torched the Wiz for 37 points. Neither Porter nor Dudley had an answer for Melo tonight. It was very surprising that the Wizards did not double team Carmelo and force other players to beat them.

In addition, the Wizards’ big men did not play well on the defensive end. Both Gortat and Nene were in foul trouble the entire night which forced Randy Wittman to put DeJuan Blair in. That didn’t go well either.

The Wizards must clean things up defensively before the Spurs come to town Wednesday night.

Recap: Wizards at Knicks

AP Photo/Kathy Willens
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

John Wall led the way for the Wizards with 24 points and 11 assists as the Wizards beat a lazy and uninspired Knicks team, 102-91. The Wizards’ balanced attack produced six scores in double figures including Beal with 17, Humphries with 14, Nene with 12, Butler with 11, and Gortat with 10.

In his first ever Christmas day game, John Wall proved, “quick ain’t fair.” John was matched up against Jose Calderon and Shane Larkin this afternoon. Neither of which were able to stay in front of Wall. A combination of transition assists, blow by layups, and a nice spin move out of the post were all on display for Wall in the first half.

The Wizards jumped out to a 9-2 lead in this one and never looked back. Nene regained his position in the starting lineup and had a very efficient game. The big Brazilian contributed 12 points on 6-8 shooting; most of which were easy layups or dunks. Kris Humphries came in for Nene at the four minute mark of the first quarter and rather than sulking and crying about not starting, he produced. Humphries knocked down his first three jump shots of the game. Most of his shots were wide-open thanks to the Knicks’ non existent defense.

The reserves started the second quarter and played very nicely to keep this comfortable lead. Rasual Butler hit two threes off the bench in the first half and Kevin Seraphin was very active on the offensive end as well.

There’s something about Madison Square Garden that brings out the best in Bradley Beal. Even though he went 7-16 from the field, he played very well. His shots in transition were falling and he’s starting to assert himself as a playmaker with the ball in his hands rather than just playing off the ball as shown by his five assists. The Wiz had a comfortable 60-44 at halftime.

The Wizards picked up in the third quarter right where they left off stretching the lead to 22. The Knicks countered with a 11-2 to run of their own on baskets mainly from Carmelo to cut the Wizards lead to 13. With one minute left in the quarter and the Wizards looking to get a bucket to end New York’s run, this happened:

The Knicks decided to show up and play once the 4th quarter started. A lazy and uninspired team showed some life in the 4th. Threes from Jose Calderon and some nice shooting from Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks were able to cut the lead to 11 at the 6:30 mark.

With 5:31 to play and John Wall taking the ball down the court in transition, Quincy Acy tried to stop John by taking a foul but forearmed him in the neck and head area. John took exception and shoved Acy. A mini scuffle ensued.

John got hit with a tech but Acy got ejected from the game. The Knicks were never able to get the lead into single digits and the Wizards cruised to a 102-91 win.