The Knicks led the Wizards the whole way as they picked up their fifth win in six games despite being short-handed.
The New York Knicks (7-5) were in Washington DC to take on The Wizards (2-10) in a game where they were down two starters. Being without RJ Barrett for a second straight game and Quentin Grimes didn’t slow the Knicks down at all as they dominated the struggling Wizards for the first whistle in another in-season tournament game. It was a 120-99 wire-to-wire victory as the Knicks never relinquished the lead.
The Knicks got off to a quick start in the first quarter, setting the tone early from three-point distance by connecting on six three-pointers. New York took control of the game thanks to Jalen Brunson and the now-hot Julius Randle leading the way; both scored 11 points in the quarter helping the Knicks build a 10-point, 35-25 lead heading into the second.
The second quarter was more of the same as the Knicks didn’t miss a beat. They stayed the pace extending their lead to as many as 21. The first half was all about the Knicks as they dominated the Wizards with their rebounding, especially on the offensive glass, 8-2, leading to the creation of more opportunities offensively and they took advantage, nine Knicks were able to score in the first half. New York also shot 56.3% from three-point distance. The Wizards did show signs of life late in the second quarter going on a 15-5 run to slice the Knicks’ lead down to 11 points ending half with a score of 65-54.
The second half was a different story early on as The Wizards started the third quarter quickly scoring five unanswered points, cutting the lead down to seven. Washington’s surge forced a timeout from coach Tom Thibodeau allowing the Knicks to regroup and regain their composure. Their efforts to complete the comeback were thwarted as the Knicks came out the timeout and took their lead back up to 11, forcing Washington to call their own timeout. The Knicks would benefit from some timely scoring as every time the Wizards inched a closer someone would hit a timely shot to keep Washington at bay. The Wizards kept the game close heading to the fourth quarter with the hold on to a slime 89-84 lead.
In the beginning of the fourth quarter, as the Wizards were giving the Knicks everything they could handle, Immanuel Quickley took matters into his own hands scoring the Knicks’ first six points. Washington would keep themselves within striking distance but New York’s offense and defense would prove to be too much as they began to pull away while holding Washington without a field goal for over seven minutes and ballooning their lead back up to 21 late to ensure a New York’s victory.
The Knicks once again executed late to secure a win. Jalen Brunson had a masterful performance scoring 32 points, six made threes to go with seven assists and seven rebounds. Julius Randle has gotten his groove back recording a sixth straight 20-point game. Immanuel Quickley was exceptional, especially in the fourth quarter where he scored 17 of his 27 points on the night. Donte DiVincenzo took advantage of his starting opportunity, pouring in 14 points including four three-pointers.
The Knicks are right back at it tomorrow from Charlotte as they take on the Hornets at 6:00 pm.