If a marquee matinee on Christmas Day was set up to be John Wall’s coming out party to America, he certainly lived up to the billing.
Wall scored 24 points and handed out 11 assists as the Washington Wizards easily handled the New York Knicks 102-91, upping their record to 20-8 and their all-time Christmas Day record to 15-7.
And once the beat-down was secure, Wall stood up to an increased physical presence, as backup forward Quincy Acy tried to intimidate the Wizards point guard by knocking him down with a forearm shiver. Wall responded with a two-hand shove, Acy threw a punch and after the altercation, the Knicks forward was ejected, while Wall has handed a technical foul.
Entering the game, Wall was already leading the Eastern Conference guards in all-star voting and can probably expect a boost in the vote totals following the stellar performance.
The Wizards raced out to an 11-2 lead and were rarely challenged.
Bradley Beal had 17 points and five assists, Kris Humphries had 14 points and Nene added 12 points as the Wizards placed six players in double-figures and outrebounded the woeful Knicks 45-36, including a 13-6 advantage on the offensive glass. Washington also enjoyed a 50-30 lead on points in the paint.
Carmelo Anthony paced New York with 34 points, but only two others managed double-digits. The Knicks were 4 of 22 from beyond the arc as a team.
The Wizards host Boston on Saturday.