The Washington Wizards have little room for error over the last month of the season if they want any shot of squeaking into the playoffs. That means they needed to take care of business against the lottery bound New York Knicks. It looked like Washington was going to get run out of their own building in the first half when they were unable to hit a jump shot for literally their playoff lives. Thankfully there are two halves in basketball and the Wizards made the most of it by completing their biggest comeback of the season. The Knicks certainly made it easier with 17 turnovers that Washington converted into 29 points on their way to a 99-89 victory. John Wall recorded his 42nd double-double of the season.
Kristaps Porzingis and Markieff Morris paced their respective squads at a 4-4 tie in the early goings, before New York went on an 8-0 run forcing a Randy Wittman timeout. The Washington Wizards offense struggled because of an inability to knock down jump shots even when being given space by the knicks. Otto Porter emphasized the struggle with 0 of 5 shooting in the first quarter that saw Washington shoot under 35 percent (8 of 23). On the flip side, the road team was on fire with 54 percent shooting from the field that gave the Knicks a 29-20 lead after one quarter.
Things got worse in the second quarter for the Wizards offense. Washington only managed 8 points in just under the first eight minutes of the second quarter. Much of that had to do with the Knicks seven blocks in the first half. Washington would finally cut the 18 point deficit to single digits with a 12-2 run, but John Wall was getting no help from anyone else. the Wizards all-star was 7 of 9 in the first half while his teammates were a combined 10 of 35 (28.6 percent). New York maintained a 53-43 lead at halftime.
Marcin Gortat had just one field goal attempt in the first half but that changed to start the third quarter by hitting three jump shots to spark a 9-0 run. Washington did not let the Knicks rebuild their lead after New York took advantage of Porter fronting 7-1 Kristaps Porzingis while Morris was more effective against Carmelo Anthony. The Wizards took their first lead of the game with a 14-0 run fueled by great work on the defensive end and shots finally starting to fall. The home team was on an extended 47-17 run to turn an 18 point deficit to an 11 point advantage. Besides a showtime dunk attempt from Wall near the end, it was a perfect twelve minutes for Washington as they turned a 10 point deficit into a 10 point advantage, 76-66 headed to the fourth quarter.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Porzingis cut that Washington lead to five with under eight minutes to play, which got the Knicks fans in the building making noise. The Wizards tried to put things away but a Carmelo 3-pointers, New York’s tenth of the game, made things a four point game with more than four minutes to play. Washington did not play with fan’s hearts tonight as they would not let the Knicks get any closer with a 10-2 run ending in a couple of Porter corner threes. The Wizards are back to one game within .500 as they completed their biggest comeback of the year, previously after 13 down to Bucks in second game of the season, with a 99-89 victory.
Washington will get ready to play an away and home set with the Atlanta Hawks starting on Monday.