Small forward Martell Webster scored 30 points off the bench, Beal
had 21, including the game-winning layup with 6.9 seconds remaining,
as the Washington Wizards snapped a four-game losing streak with a
102-101 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night.
Point guard John Wall had 20 points and eight assists for the
Wizards (10-13), who lost their previous 10 games against the Knicks
at Madison Square Garden.
Returning to action after missing nine games with a stress injury in
his right leg, Beal sank a 3-pointer to tie the game at 100-100 with
45 seconds remaining. After guard Beno Udrih made one of two free
throws to put the Knicks in the lead, the Wizards put the ball in
their leading scorer's hands.
Positioned on the left wing and sensing a double team coming his way
with no defender under the basket, Beal drove baseline and past
Udrih for the score.
"I've been waiting for this moment for three weeks now," Beal said
during a postgame interview on the Wizards' television broadcast
after playing 30 minutes in his return. "It feels good. My minutes
are limited but I'm still making the best of them. I'm glad coach
left me out there at the end of the game."
Small forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (7-17) with 32 points.
Following Beal's basket, the Knicks quickly inbounded the ball
despite having a timeout. Anthony's running 3-point attempt missed
at the buzzer.
"I probably should've taken the timeout for sure at the end, but
Beno grabbed (the ball) and the ball was in Melo's hands before I
could've reacted," Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. "I should've
reacted a lot sooner once the ball went through the bucket. That's
Blame poor defensive execution for Beal's free path to the basket
"It should've either been a trap or a foul, and not a straight line
to the rim," Woodson said, noting his team had a foul to give
without sending Washington to the free-throw line. "The help never
got there in time and by that time, Beno already exposed himself."
New York guard J.R. Smith broke out of his scoring slump with 18
points. He hit five of 11 3-point attempts.
The Wizards blew a 15-point third-quarter lead and trailed by six in
the same period as New York went on a 31-10 spurt. With Wall
resting, Washington regained the advantage in the fourth as Webster
scored 11 points during a 23-9 run. Beal's jumper with 5:53
remaining put the Wizards up 92-85.
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The Knicks then jumped in front 98-94 on a 13-2 run capped by
Smith's 3-pointer with 2:17 remaining.
"It was a hell of a game," Wizards coach Randy Wittman
exclaimed. "We had a swing there early in the third where we got
up 15 and then they came back. ... Then it was just kind of a
slugfest there the last three or four minutes."
The Wizards' previous win at MSG was a 113-102 victory Dec. 6,
Webster made six 3-pointers, and Washington finished 11 of 18
from beyond the arc.
Guards Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 14 points for the Knicks, and
Udrih had 12.
Washington won for the first time this season without power
forward Nene, who missed his fourth consecutive game with right
foot tendinitis. The Wizards lost seven in a row overall without
Nene. Dating back to last season, they are now 4-24 sans the
Brazilian big man.
Knicks point guard Pablo Prigioni, starting for the injured
Raymond Felton, left in the third quarter and did not return.
The team announced Prigioni, scoreless in 18 minutes, suffered a
hairline fracture in his right toe and will be out at least two
Washington sank seven of 10 shots from beyond the 3-point arc in
the first half while shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Wall
scored Washington's last nine points over the final 95 seconds
of the second quarter. His 3-point play sent the Wizards into
halftime leading 53-42 despite 14 turnovers.
NOTES: Before sitting out three weeks with a right leg stress
injury, Washington G Bradley Beal led the NBA with 40.2 minutes
per game. He replaced F Martell Webster in the starting lineup.
... Knicks G Pablo Prigioni made his fourth straight start and
seventh this season, but he finished scoreless in 18 minutes. PG
Raymond Felton sat out a fourth game due to a left hamstring
strain. The Knicks also remain without F Kenyon Martin
(abdominal strain) and C Tyson Chandler (right fibula). Out
since Nov. 5, Chandler could return for New York's next game, in
Milwaukee against the Bucks on Friday, coach Mike Woodson said
pregame. ... The Wizards stay in the New York area to face the
Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
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