by Jonah Ballow

How It Happened:
It was a tale of two halves tonight at Madison Square Garden.  Fueled by Tim Hardaway Jr.’s jaw-dropping 32 first half points, the Knicks offense looked unstoppable in the opening 24 minutes of action.  In fact, New York scored 72 first half points while it built a 21-point advantage.  The Knicks were prolific as they shot 63 percent from the floor and 45 percent behind the arc in the first half.  Washington marched back into the contest by starting the third quarter on a 9-2 run and then outscored New York 39-15 to take a three-point lead into the final stanza.  Bradley Beal and company closed strong in the fourth frame and escaped MSG with a 118-113 win to take a 2-0 lead in the season series.  In 42 minutes of court time, Beal scored a team-high 36 points and Otto Porter Jr. added 22 in the victory for the Wizards.

Knick of the Night:
Hardaway Jr. was brilliant in tonight’s contest as he connected on 14-of-24 shots from the floor and drilled 6-of-9 attempts from downtown.  The shooting guard fell one point shy of tying his career-high.    

Enes Kanter posted 24 points and 14 rebounds, Michael Beasley dropped 16 points and 11 boards, and the bench combined for 23 points.

Statistically Speaking:
New York only committed 10 turnovers and dished out 21 assists as a team.  

Next Up:
The Knicks are off for the All-Star break until next Thursday night when they head to Orlando for a matchup against the Magic.  Frank Ntilikina will represent New York at the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday night in Los Angeles.  Stay tuned to for comprehensive coverage.