The Knicks surprised Kristaps Porzingis at home with his team
Pushed by Kristaps Porzingis, the author of 8 entry points for his return to Madison Square Garden, Washington started the match perfectly with a score of 19-5. The Wizards are on fire from 3-pointers (6/9), a brazen success that the Knicks can’t answer (28-13). Washington ends the controlled first quarter with a 13-point lead (35-22).
New York starts well in the second quarter to get back to within 7 points (35-28). But Washington’s foreign address is still excellent, allowing the capital players to widen the gap again (43-28). Julius Randle (2/9 shooting) is not on his game, but thanks to Jalen Brunson’s 16 points, the Knicks cut the lead to 8 points at halftime (56-48).
Returning from the locker room, Washington hits the accelerator again to take a 17-point lead (70-53). By contrast, New York is clumsy on set and can’t keep up. But Jalen Brunson has been terrific, his 32 points after three quarters helping the Knicks limit the damage as they came back within ten points of the Wizards (88-78).
In a room on fire, New York is still clawing its way back to seven divisions. But a very good Kyle Kuzma hit the accelerator again and gave the Wizards a 15-point lead (103-88). This time, the Knicks won’t recover and the Wizards need it 116-105 at Madison Square Garden.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Wizards 3 point address. The Capitals were very impressive from the 3-point shot early in the game, which allowed them to take control. While they were less successful back then (38 percent overall), they largely dominated the Knicks in that sector as Jalen Brunson and his teammates finished at a disappointing 27 percent from 3-point range.
– The Return of Bradley Beal. He scored the first basket for the Wizards and they never trailed. The All-Star guard was sober for his big comeback. Although his playing time is limited, he still plays 29 minutes.
– Jalen Brunson is on the way. Even though the Knicks lost, Jalen Brunson continues to play his best basketball. He has his 8th straight game with 25 or more points, passing Walt Frazier (7) for 3rd all-time in Knicks history. The streak of 12 consecutive games was accomplished by Dick Barnett in 1965.
✅ Kristaps Porzingis. A solid game with a double-double to his credit, but also some decent outside success: 22 points and 11 rebounds on 4/9 from 3-point range.
✅ Kyle Kuzma. The author of the complete game, he is the MVP of the game with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists.
Jalen Brunson. In excellent form, he finished with 32 points on 2/3-to-3 shooting.
⛔️ Julius Randle. Despite his double-double, he was clumsy throughout the game: 6-of-17 shooting, including 0-of-5 from 3-point range.
Knicks (25-21): Travel to Falcons overnight Friday through Saturday (1:30).
Wizards (19-26): Saturday to Sunday Magic reception (1H).