Wizards vs. Knicks final score: Washington uses big second half to roll to 121-103 win over New York

With the Wizards leading by just one point at halftime; Bradley Beal said in a halftime interview: “The first team to play defense is going to win tonight.” The Wizards responded by opening the second half on a 19-5 run and never looked back as they coasted to a 121-103 victory over New York on Wednesday night.

The Knicks made a late run and were able to cut the Wizards lead to 10, 113-103 late in the fourth quarter but John Wall ended all hopes of a comeback with a monster left-handed slam in the closing minutes.

Bradley Beal led the Wizards in scoring with 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting and John Wall chipped in with 25 points as the Wizards notched their seventh straight win against the Knicks.


Bradley Beal continues his All-Star campaign

Bradley Beal was just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week and he did nothing tonight to discredit that accolade.

As mentioned, Bradley Beal scored 27 points on 11-14 shooting (79 percent) to go along with six assists as he continued his All-Star campaign. He was torching the nets to start the game connecting on 7-of-8 shots in the first half for 18 points.

The sharpshooter playmaker, Beal, was not only scoring at will but also was able to get others involved. He and Gortat had the pick-and-roll as well as the two-man game going in the first half which resulted in some easy baskets for Gortat.

Midway through the third quarter, John Wall found Beal on the fast break in transition and there would have been a meeting at the summit between him and Kristaps Porzingis but Porzingis opted to go with the #BusinessDecision

Ever wonder what would happen if a Panda and a Unicorn went 1 vs. 1? Now you know:

A little love for Marcin Gortat

Gortat has struggled the past few weeks. He’s spoken openly about how he’s upset that his role is diminishing, as he’s not playing down the stretch of games. But tonight, Gortat snapped out of his funk to the tune of 21 points (season-high) on 9-of-10 shooting to go along with 8 rebounds. He connected on his first six shots of the game and for one night, looked like a younger, more spry player.

Washington’s defense in the first half was bad, really bad

The Wizards defense was terrible right from the opening tip. The lack of intensity could be pointed back to the head of the snake, John Wall who wasn’t engaged in the first half, other than to hunt down a chase down block.

The Knicks were scoring at will against the Wizards early on as Enes Kanter and Kristaps Porzingis were bullying their way in the paint while Courtney Lee was knocking down open three-pointers. Too many times, New York got wide open driving lanes or easy layups on backdoor cuts. They shot 58 percent from the field in the first half.

Fortunately for the Wizards, they were able to flip the script in the second half as their defense was much better and the main reason why Washington was able to pull away for a decisive win.

Game Notes

  • Random stat of the night: Both teams shot an identical 25-43 (58 percent) in the first half
  • The Wizards are currently riding a three-game winning streak, tying their longest win streak of the season
  • The Wizards are now 8-3 in the 11 games since Wall’s return from injury

Next up: The Wizards head to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies on ESPN this Friday at 9:30 p.m.


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.

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.

Wall scores 29 as the Wizards escape with a 113-110 win in New York.

John Wall leads the way for the Wizards with 29 points and 13 assists as they sneak out of New York with a 113-110 victory. Otto Porter added 23 points as he dropped in six three-pointers for the second time in as many nights. And Markieff Morris added 14 points as the Wizards get their first win of the season coming in a road game, on the second half of a back-to-back.

The Wizards offense was on point early. Wall and Gortat were running the pick-and-roll, Otto was hitting threes, and Beal got off to a nice start as the Wizards shot 63 percent from the field and led 38-27, after the first quarter.

But Carmelo Anthony would take over in the second; To the tune of 25 points on 10-12 shooting. With the Wizards’ bench in, Melo feasted on Jason Smith. Then, the Wizards moved Markieff Morris onto him and he had troubles of his own. The Knicks outscored the Wizards 40-28 in a back and forth affair to take a 67-66 lead into halftime.

Washington is known for their slow starts to the second half; not tonight, though. Otto Porter hit his first three three-pointers of the third quarter and would hit four in the period en route to a 15-point third quarter. Wall ended the quarter on a personal 6-0 run of his own with some nice elbow jump shots as the Wizards led 100-86.

The Wizards would try to give this game away though. Two sloppy turnovers to start the fourth quarter resulted in two easy buckets for the Knicks. A corner three from Jennings followed by a hustle play from Rose ending up in a layup and gave the Knicks the lead, 110-109 with 50 seconds remaining. After calmly knocking down two free throws, Melo would miss a shot on the other end as Wall would take the rebound, go behind his back for a dunk to stretch the Wizards lead to three, 113-110.

Wizards win, 113-110.

Wall performs on a national stage

The Wizards don’t get very many games on a national stage so when they do, they must show out. John Wall did with 29 points, 13 assists and three steals. After getting snubbed from being an All-Star starter, you could tell Wall had a chip on his shoulder. First, he got his teammates involved as he logged seven assists in the first quarter, then he let his scoring come to him.

Wall went 6-8 from the free throw line and knocked down two key ones with just seconds remaining.

Otto Porter stays hot

Otto Porter knocked down six three-pointers tonight and 12 in the past 24 hours. Porter started the second half blistering hot as he hit his first three of the second half. Porter’s shooting allowed the Wizards to stretch the lead out to double-digits, especially on a night when Beal struggled. Once again, Porter is proving night in and night out that he’s a max level player.

Another nice game from the bench

The bench combined for 27 points tonight led by Jason Smith with 11 and Kelly Oubre with 10. The bench surrendered the lead in the second quarter when Anthony was on his hot streak but stretched the lead out to as many as 14 in the second half.

Wizards hold off late run by Knicks, win 119-112.

It wasn’t easy, but the Wizards used a 27-point lead to fend off the Knicks who made a furious 4th quarter push. The Wizards win, 119-112 and things are fine for a night.

John Wall led the way for the Wizards with 23 points and 11 assists while Otto Porter chipped in with 21 points and 8 rebounds and for the first time in his career, got the best of Carmelo Anthony in a head-to-head matchup.

The Wizards used some inspired play to take a 52-42 lead into halftime. That lead would balloon to 27, 85-58 late in the third quarter as the Wizards held a 22-point lead after three quarters.

That’s when the Knicks started raining threes. Anthony hit his first three of the night followed by three three-pointers from Jennings, as the Knicks were able to cut into the lead. The Knicks would score 47 points in the fourth quarter but the final score was not indicative of the game as a whole.

Basketball is fun for a night. Wizards win 119-112.

Wizards make it rain from three:

The Wizards came into the game averaging just six makes from three-point range per game. That average should go up as the Wizards knocked down a season-high 15 three-pointers tonight on 60 percent shooting (15-25). Otto knocked down four, Wall had three, Beal had three, many on assists from Wall, and Thornton also knocked down three. This was by far and away the best three-point shooting performance from the Wizards in this early season.

Otto Porter outplayed Carmelo Anthony:

I’ve been very harsh on Otto in this particular matchup. But for the first time in his career, Otto won the battle with Anthony. Anthony was off of his game tonight. He did score 19 points but it took him 17 shots to get there. Anthony didn’t knock down his a three-point shot until midway through the fourth quarter.

As mentioned, Otto scored 21 points to go along with eight rebounds. It’s just one game, but this is a big stride forward from Otto.

The bench came to play:

The bench combined for 33 points tonight in their second-best scoring output of the season led by Thornton with 13. Kelly Oubre Jr. hit two threes early in the first half and it looked like he could get going but scored just one basket the rest of the way. Satoransky chipped in with four assists and made his only two field goals of the game.

Yes it was against the Knicks, who have a terrible defense, and yes, the Knicks’ bench is equally as awful; but it was nice to see this effort from the reserves after a clunker last night.

10 Predictions for the 2016-2017 NBA Season

The NBA season is right around the corner. Some things are a sure lock yet others remain a complete unknown. Without further ado, let’s go over 10 predictions (I hopefully don’t get too wrong) for this NBA season.

1.  The Warriors and Cavaliers will meet in the finals for a third straight year – Please name one team that has a shot of taking either of these two down. Yeah… that’s what I thought.

2.  The Warriors will win 70+ games – When the over/under odds came out in Vegas and Golden State’s win total was set at 66.5, I did a double take. This team won 73 games last year and they ADDED Kevin Durant. Anytime the Warriors lose this season it will be a major upset and will be all over ESPN and the other sports networks. Barring a major injury, I don’t think 70 wins will be a problem for this team.

3.  The Cavaliers will coast to 60+ wins – Another surprisingly low over/under was Cleveland’s as their win total was set at 56.5. The thing about Cleveland is, even though they won the championship, all of the focus will still be on Golden State this year. With a watered down Eastern Conference that will be worse than it was last year, I don’t think LeBron James and the Cavs will have any troubles eclipsing the 60-win mark. The only way they don’t get to 60 wins is if LeBron James frequently sits out games for rest.

4.  The Houston Rockets will average 112 points per gameThe Rockets averaged 106.5 points per game last year; good enough for the 8-seed out west. I don’t forsee any scoring setbacks now that Mike D’Antoni is head coach of the Rockets. D’Antoni is an offensive minded coach and will be using James Harden at the point guard position this season. Not only will this team score a ton, they won’t be playing any defense as that’s not really D’Antoni’s M.O. Since they won’t be too worried on the defensive end, they’ll be forced to put up gaudy offensive numbers just to stay competitive in games.

5.  The Heat and the Hawks will miss the playoffs – The Heat and the Hawks finished third and fourth in the Eastern Conference last year. The Heat lost the face of the franchise in Dwyane Wade and also lost Chris Bosh due to medical complications. The Hawks, on the other hand, lost Jeff Teague and Al Horford to the Pacers and Celtics respectively in free agency. Both of these teams lost two of their top players and signed average to slightly above-average players to bandage the wounds. Expect both teams to take a major step backward and miss the playoffs.

6.  The Knicks will make the playoffs – I went back and forth on this one. I don’t think Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are able to stay healthy for an entire season but the thing is, the Eastern Conference isn’t going to be as good as it was last year. If Carmelo Anthony can play in 70+ games and Kristaps Porzingis continues to develop as scheduled, that should be enough for the Knicks to win about 40 games and get into the playoffs.

7.  Joel Embiid will win Rookie of the Year – Too bad for all of the guys who got drafted this season as Joel Embiid is the initial favorite to win rookie of the year. He’s on a bad team so he’ll get plenty of playing time. He’ll have free reign as the 76ers will be losing most games. Oh, and let’s not forget, he’s talented as hell. The only thing holding the big man back is injuries. I really hope Embiid can stay healthy because he has the potential to be a special player .

(Vine by cjzero)

8. John Wall will be a top-5 MVP Candidate – Outside of Damian Lillard, John Wall might be the most underrated player in the NBA. Wall averaged 19.9 points and 10.2 assists last season coming up just .1 point shy of becoming the eleventh player in NBA history to average 20 points and 10 assists for a season. He was the only constant for a Wizards team that likely would have only won 25-30 games last season without him. I expect Wall to put up similar numbers this year and because the Wizards should have a better record than last season (41-41), that should get him more recognition and into the top-5 in MVP voting.

9. The Oklahoma City Thunder will barely make the playoffs – The Rockets, Jazz, Timberwolves, and Trail Blazers all got better during the offseason. The Oklahoma City Thunder took a step back as they lost Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors. Russell Westbrook will be a man on a mission and will likely put up monster numbers every single night. The issue is, When Kevin Durant went down during the 2014-2015 season, Westbrook put up monster numbers and the team still missed the playoffs. The talent around Westbrook is solid but Durant leaving will leave a bigger dent than people wish to believe. As a result, the Thunder will have to sneak into the playoffs with either the seventh or eighth seed. A Warriors-Thunder first round matchup would be a pretty nice start to the playoffs, no?

10.  Giannis Antetokounmpo will win Most Improved Player – The Greek Freak is entering the fourth year of his NBA career. He’s increased his scoring, rebounding, and assist numbers every season he’s been in the league. Now that he’ll be playing point guard in Jason Kidd’s offense, this is the year the Greek Freak catapults himself onto the scene, maybe even making an All-Star appearance. He’s got the tools to be a Kevin Durant-type player, and this is the year he puts it together.

Bonus: The Warriors will win the championship – They’re pissed about blowing a 3-1 lead in the finals last year. On top of that, there’s no team out west who’ll test them prior to the finals.

Wizards vs. Knicks preview: Washington takes on new-look New York squad

The Wizards head to New York to take on the new-look Knicks for the first time in Madison Square Garden on Monday night. Both the Wizards and Knicks are coming off of their first preseason victories and will look to keep the momentum rolling Monday evening.

We’ll have to wait to see the electric matchup of years past in John Wall and Derrick Rose as neither of them will be playing Monday night.

The last time the Wizards visited Madison Square Garden, they snuck out with a thrilling 111-108 victory. We can only hope that this game will be half as exciting.

Game Info

When – 7:30 pm EST

Where – Madison Square Garden New York, NY

TV – The game will be available on CSN Mid-Atlantic in the D.C. area and nationally on NBA TV.

Radio – Washington Wizards app

Injury Report

John Wall and Marcus Thornton remain sidelined for the Wizards. Marcin Gortat and Trey Burke were limited in practice on Sunday and are questionable for the game.

Derrick Rose (personal reasons) and Joakim Noah (hamstring) will miss Monday night’s game for the Knicks.

What to watch for

Otto Porter vs. Carmelo Anthony

Anthony averaged 30 points per game against the Wizards last season, mostly at the expense of Otto Porter. Porter has struggled with bigger, more physical small forwards in the past. This will be Otto’s biggest test thus far of the preseason as he’ll likely be matched up on Anthony during the limited minutes that they will both play.

In seasons past, this is the type of game where Porter might disappear. As he continues to develop, it’ll be interesting to see if Porter can hold his own on the defensive end while still being an offensive threat in limited play.

Can Tomas Satoransky continue his excellent play?

Satoransky is averaging nine points, 5.5 rebounds, and 6.0 assists through two preseason games for the Wizards. In addition, he’s played 71 minutes through the first two games, more than anyone else on the team.

Satoransky hasn’t looked like a rookie thus far playing with composure, making the right play, and running certain sets as if he’s played in this offensive scheme for years. He has looked very good through two games, let’s see if he can string together a third impressive performance.

Can Kelly Oubre Jr. continue scoring at a high level?

Kelly Oubre Jr. is averaging a team-high 20 points per game this preseason on 59 percent shooting (13-22 through two games). He looks much more confident with his jump shot, especially his three-point shot where he’s knocked down four of five from range this preseason. Yes, Oubre is often playing against backups and guys who may not make the final roster; but if he can continue to score at an efficient rate, that’ll warrant more playing time once the regular season rolls around. 

Most Likely Wizards Killer: Mindaugas Kuzminskas

The Lithuanian import has been solid in limited action with the Knicks so far this preseason. He’s scored 14 points on 6-9 shooting in just 18 minutes of action. If Washington has more defensive breakdowns, he’ll make them pay for it.