Knicks beat Wizards for 10th straight time


Knicks beat Wizards for 10th straight time

NEW YORK (AP) Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith each scored 20 points, and the New York Knicks beat the Washington Wizards for the 10th straight time, 108-87 on Friday night.

Tyson Chandler and Ronnie Brewer each added 12 points for the Knicks, who improved to 6-0 at home and also beat the Wizards for the ninth straight time at Madison Square Garden. Both winning streaks are their longest active against one team.

Chandler finished with 10 rebounds but his 5-of-8 shooting represented a cold night after the NBA's leading shooter had made 16 of 17 over his previous two games and came in shooting 71.8 percent for the season.

Raymond Felton scored 11 points for the Knicks, who shot 53 percent from the field in their third straight game without starting guard Jason Kidd, who remains out with lower back spasms.

Jordan Crawford scored 17 points and rookie Bradley Beal had 14 for the Wizards, who beat Portland 84-82 on Wednesday for their lone victory after a 0-12 start but were never in this game after the first 10 minutes.

The Knicks led by nine after one and kept increasing their lead, going ahead by double digits throughout the second half and by as much as 23.

The only time the home fans grew restless was at the half, during the filming of a scene for the upcoming Vince Vaughn film ``Delivery Man.'' After a hard foul, the actor playing the Knicks star had to shoot two free throws but couldn't make both, the boos growing louder with each miss until he had to be rattled.

The real Knicks had nothing to worry about.

Leading by one, the Knicks closed the first quarter with a 10-2 spurt for a 26-17 lead, holding Washington to 32 percent shooting. The Knicks then made 12 of 19 shots in the second, getting eight points from Pablo Prigioni and building a 13-point advantage before going into the locker room up 57-46 after Anthony rattled in a jumper at the buzzer.

Notes: The Wizards' last victory in New York was Dec. 6, 2006. ... Kidd did some shooting Friday morning and hopes to return next week, though coach Mike Woodson wasn't sure, saying the Knicks would have to just continue to wait. .. Chandler's ``Rebound 4 Rockaway'' campaign will team up with the NBA players' association on Saturday to deliver items to families affected by Superstorm Sandy in Far Rockaway, N.Y.

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3 bold predictions: Caps look to shutdown a sputtering Tampa offense

3 bold predictions: Caps look to shutdown a sputtering Tampa offense

The Capitals will look to erase the memory of Thursday’s loss to the Islanders as they return to the ice Saturday night in Tampa Bay (7 p.m. on CSN).

Here are three bold predictions for the game against the Lightning:

1. Jakub Vrana will get his first NHL point on the power play

Considering how much the Caps have struggled on the power play lately, it seems odd to think they will find success in Tampa thanks to a rookie playing in only his second NHL game. But producing on the power play is Vrana’s specialty. He is a very talented young player with a lot of confidence. A Lightning penalty kill that has only been 81.3 percent effective this season may not know how to handle the young sniper.


2. Both teams will combine for over 15 shots on goal in the first period

The Caps have lost two straight games and three of their last five. The Lightning have lost four straight and five of their last six. These are two teams desperate to turn things around and that will show in what should be a frantic first period. Expect a frantic opening frame with both teams trying to exert control early on.

3. Tampa Bay will score two goals or fewer

The Lighting scored four goals in a loss against St. Louis, but this is a team that is struggling to find consistent offense since losing superstar forward Steven Stamkos to injury. Prior to the game against the Blues, Tampa had been held to only five goals in three games. Despite the Caps’ recent struggles, they have played well defensively and should be able to shutdown a Tampa offense that hasn’t quite figured out how to score consistently without their top threat in the lineup.


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Morning tip: Failing to close out quarters adds up for Wizards

Morning tip: Failing to close out quarters adds up for Wizards

Instead of looking at the final play of the Wizards' 107-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, when Otto Porter got the ball from Markieff Morris on the double-team and turned the corner for a good look at the basket that didn't go down, it's the way quarters ended that hurt them most. 

The Wizards (6-12) had an 11-point lead in the first half that evaporated and came back to take the lead 103-102 on a three-point shot by Bradley Beal with 53.4 seconds left. But the one thing the Wizards had done a good job of all game, rebounding (43-37 edge), backfired late.

LaMarcus Aldridge grabbed an offensive rebound on a miss by Patty Mills and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called a timeout and re-inserted Danny Green in the lineup. His three-pointer, his only made shot of the game, put them up 105-103 and after John Wall tied it for the Wizards with a strong drive it was Kawhi Leonard knocking down the game-winner for San Antonio. 

"Getting that first-quarter shot and (the one) they got at halftime, that's five points," Wall said. "That's a big swing. ... The ways they ended the quarter gave them some momentum."

With 46.7 seconds left in the first quarter, the Wizards allowed an open three-pointer from Mills and allowed Manu Ginobili to bank in a 14-foot bucket at the buzzer. A 28-19 lead melted to 28-24.

They'd force a miss again to end the second, with David Lee not converting two layups, only to have Ginobili steal the outlet pass with 1.9 seconds left to nail a 33-foot three-pointer. A 60-54 lead became 60-57 at halftime.

Then an inefficient ending to the third quarter is where the Wizards finally lost the game, getting three turnovers in the last 2:14 and allowing a 7-1 run to trail 80-74 entering the fourth. 

These are the botched spots when the Wizards could've secured their first win in San Antonio since 1999. 

"Pissed," Wall said of the locker room mood. "Let another one go. ... There are about seven games already this season for us that can haunt us (in regards to playoffs)."

Wizards coach Scott Brooks said the final play called out of the timeout was for Beal on a curl to the basket but the passing lane wasn't there. Still, it goes back to how they ended quarters in the first three 12-minute sessions that set the table for disappoinment at the end.

"They scored every possession down the stretch of every quarter," Brooks said. "I'm happy that we're playing hard, playing together. But I'm not happy we're not getting wins."

[RELATED: The 5 must-see moments from Wizards' loss to Spurs]