Instant analysis: Wizards 98, Knicks 89

Instant analysis: Wizards 98, Knicks 89
November 23, 2013, 9:30 pm
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Wall's big night leads Wizards past Knicks

For the second night in a row, John Wall had to carry the Wizards on offense. But this time, his team got the victory as Wall posted a game-high of 31 points to beat the New York Knicks in front of 18,089 at Verizon Center.

The Wizards (5-8) completed a stretch of four games in five days, winning three of them. They're 3-2 at home. The Wizards didn't get their fifth victory last season until Jan. 7. 

Wall, who had a season-high 37 in Toronto on Friday, made his first six shots -- half of them mid-range jumpers  -- but his teammates woke up in time to close this one out. 

With the Knicks (3-9) closing to 81-78, Martell Webster buried consecutive three-pointers. Bradley Beal, who missed five of his first seven shots, found his stroke to start the fourth by making three of his first five.

Webster finished with 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting, with all but one of his attempts coming from three-point range. Beal only shot 7-for-19 but had 18 points, six assists and five rebounds. Beal is just 14-for-40 shooting in his last two games, including 3 of 16 from three-point range. 

Marcin Gortat missed his first three shots then went 7-for-8 to finish with 16 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks. Seven of his rebounds were offensive.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 23 points on 9-for-19 shooting and 12 rebounds. The Wizards were determined to take him out of the game by trapping him early with Nene or Gortat. 

Turning point: The Wizards quickly erased a 52-49 halftime deficit to start the third quarter as Gortat opened with an uncontested dunk, Beal and Wall nailed consecutive jump shots and a three-pointer from Webster gave them a cushion they maintained the rest of the way. 

Best in show: Wall. He kept the Wizards in range with 19 first-half points as he had his way with Beno Udrih, who couldn't keep Wall in front of him. Wall made 7 of 9 shots by halftime. Nene, Gortat and Beal shot 8-for-22 at that point. Wall shot 10-for-18 and had seven assists, four rebounds, two steals and a highlight-reel block of Iman Shumpert at the rim before the final buzzer. 

Key stat: Despite Wall's seven turnovers, Wizards only had 12 overall. 

Slim pickings: The bench hasn't been productive with points since Webster began starting. They only had nine points in a loss at the Toronto Raptors on Friday. The only reserves to score points were Garrett Temple with four and Jan Vesely with two. 

DNP: Rookie Glen Rice, Trevor Booker and Kevin Seraphin didn't play. Al Harrington (right knee) and Trevor Ariza (right hamstring) were inactive.

From the locker room: "We have what it takes, plain and simple. We've proved that already. We need some winning streaks around here but these last four games, winning 75 percent of them, we'll take that any week." -- Webster on winning three of four games in five days.

"We're getting better defensively every game. That's something you got to do for us to continue to keep trying to win games." -- Wall

"We did a lot of things differently from a standpoint of some schemes defensively that we don't always do. Our bigs were asked to do some things tonight that they are not accustomed to doing in terms of trapping. I thought they were great at (it)." -- Wizards coach Randy Wittman 

"We forced Wall to make shots. He didn't get to the rack a lot. His real runs came in the first half. But in the second half, he made jump shots and that's what you want to force him into. He's playing well. I like everything about him. He had an awesome night last night, came back tonight and duplicated it." -- Knicks coach Mike Woodson 

"They double-teamed me from the start. On the pass, they were sending one or two guys. Their game plan was just to get the ball out of my hands and make somebody else beat them. They were successful with that. Every post up, every time I caught the ball, they were sending somebody. I don't think we made an adjustment to that." -- Anthony

Up next: The Wizards, who have played four games in five nights, will be off Sunday and will return to practice to Verizon Center on Monday. They face the Los Angeles Lakers at home Tuesday (CSN, 7 p.m. ET), the first of a back-to-back. This will be their fourth.