The Washington Wizards have now won seven of their last eight games after defeating the New York Knicks 113-110 in a back-to-back nail-biting thriller ending.
Coming into New York with a 4-13 road record, Washington knew they needed to be on all cylinders to win. The Wiz are starting their games stronger. They have now scored 30 or more points in the first quarter for the third straight game. The result, all three games have been victorious for the Wizards. They outscored New York 38-27 in the first quarter, making a statement on the road. However, in the second quarter, Carmelo Anthony took over scoring 25 points. The Knicks had a 67-66 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Washington adjusted to the Melo holding him to one point. After a great defensive quarter, the Wizards led 100-86 after the third. Although they retained a comfortable lead, the bench woes continued as the Knicks came back within one point. Last night they held off the Grizzlies to close out the game and now it was a repeat of last night. The good thing is, the Knicks have had just as many problems closing games as the Wizards.
Another Game Comes Down to the Wire
With Washington up one, Wall grabbed a rebound off a missed shot by Anthony with 18 seconds left. Wall took matters in his hands with a behind the back move all the way down the court for a two-handed slam and a three-point lead with 13.7 seconds left. On the last possession who else but Wall making a defensive play, sealing the win for his team.
Wall finished with 29 points, 13 assists, five rebounds and three steals. Otto Porter had another solid performance with 23 points and six rebounds. Marcin Gortat had another quiet double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Anthony led the Knicks with 34 points and 10 rebounds.
Looking Ahead to Detroit
Washington has struggled on the road all season, but this win put them in the right direction. Now they have to look ahead to Detroit where they face the struggling Pistons. The Pistons have disappointed this season and are sitting at a 20-24 record, good for 10th place in the East. Detroit, like Washington, plays their best ball at home where they are 11-9. The Morris brothers (Markieff and Marcus) will be the X-factors for their respective squads. They quietly can have really big games to help their teams win, although they won’t get the credit.
The biggest thing is keeping Andre Drummond from out the paint. Drummond is averaging 14.6 points, 13.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals a game., showing is all-around game. The Wizards have been hot in the first quarters recently, but have to learn how to close games out. In the last two games, Washington has won each game by three points. They can not let Detroit get momentum on their home court or could lead to trouble for the Wizards. Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson are the Pistons best offensive players and will have to be played aggressively. Gortat will have a big part in if the Wizards do well this game and if he can keep Drummond off the glass.