On Friday Night, at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., the Knicks (35-20) defeated the Washington Wizards (18-39) 96-88. Box Score
Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points on 10-of-24 shooting for his 21st 30-point game of the season.
Raymond Felton had 23 points, six rebounds and four assists, including a little floater in the closing moments that helped seal the win.
The Knicks gave up another big game to an opposing guard, with Bradley Beal going for 29 points and 11 rebounds for the losing Wizards.
James White got the start but played just 10 minutes and didn’t score.
New York was beat on the boards, with Washington outrebounding them 44-41.
Washington was held to just 11 points in the fourth quarter, as the Knicks outscored them by 12 in the period to secure the win.
So can we talk about Miami now? Oh right, the Wizards …
Ok, well, the Knicks won. They did. So there was that.
The obvious difference was James White in the starting lineup, who sparked the Knicks over his 10 minutes of action, with one rebound, one assist and one block for the rare triple-one. He did have two turnovers or it would have been even more bananas.
Otherwise, the Knicks gave up another big game to an opposing guard in Bradley Beal who, though a promising player, cut up New York’s defense with an ease that was disconcerting. Perhaps stranger, was Mike Woodson’s continuing hesitance to use Shumpert to slow down the opposition’s best perimeter player. In this one, he stuck with a still cold-shooting Jason Kidd down the stretch longer than felt necessary, even if Kidd did make a few heady plays along the way.
Raymond Felton had a nice night offensively, scoring 23 points and finding his shooting touch, though he did make a series of somewhat dubious decisions late in the game. That aside, he also hit a floater in the lane that essentially clinched the win, and he mostly played well throughout.
Oddly enough, we haven’t even mentioned Carmelo, who poured in the type of 30 point game we’ve long begun to take for granted, but his ability to get to the line continues to pay dividends, even as his shot hasn’t been the deadly weapon it was more consistently earlier in the season. Nonetheless, another solid Melo effort, he makes scoring 30 points look as effortless as an afternoon stroll. I’d sort of like to see him start playing with a drink in his hand.
Woodson continued to juggle Amar’e Stoudemire’s minutes late in the game, as he tries to find the right balance between enjoying all the efficiency of STAT’s impressive offense, while weighing the drawbacks to his continually depressing defense. The same can be said for his indecision with playing Shumpert, as the Knicks still look to be a team in a bit of flux, as I don’t think they’ve quite figured exactly who they should be playing when.
All in all, it wasn’t a game that inspired a new wave of confidence, nor one you’d put in a time capsule, but it was a win and it will certainly suffice.
Who’s ready for Miami?