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NYK 115, WAS 104: Knicks Pass Early Test in DC

by Charlie Widdoes

After a convincing win over Brazilian club team Bauru in the preseason opener, the new-look Knicks faced an early test tonight -- in Washington, against a second-round playoff team from a year ago playing at full strength.

They did their best to answer any doubts related to the quality of the competition, showing improvement in every facet from Wednesday en route to an impressive 115-104 victory. They dominated the Wizards on the boards (53-39) and shot 50 percent from the floor, fueled by contributions from all 10 players who played significant minutes. 

Kristaps Porzingis (9 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks) made plays all over the floor in his second career NBA game, and his teammates reaped the benefits of the attention he drew -- New York's starting guards Jose Calderon and Sasha Vujacic combined to shoot 5-for-7 from downtown. "He's been superb -- in every phase of the game," said Walt Frazier as Porzingis went to the bench after 21 minutes.

Carmelo Anthony followed up a 17-point showing against Bauru with a 21 points, four rebounds and four assists. He caught fire during one stretch as the Knicks pushed the lead to 15 midway through the third quarter, and is now shooting 18 for 25 from the field this preseason. 

From there it was Derrick Williams (23 points) and Kyle O'Quinn (14 points and 10 rebounds) who added the punch to pull away. Washington would cut the Knicks' lead to 85-83 after three, but New York's rebounding edge and great ball movement all night (25 assists on 42 made field goals) made the difference.