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Knicks beat Wizards in preseason opener, 104-99
The Wizards opened the preseason with a close 104-99 loss to the Knicks on Monday. After trailing by as many as 18, the Wizards showed fight late in the game. Washington’s reserves led an inspiring comeback, but ultimately fell short.
Thomas Bryant led the Wizards with 14 points and 14 rebounds in 27 minutes. His defense was much improved as well, anchoring the Wizards in the paint with two blocks and several shot-alterations.
In only 16 minutes of play, Bradley Beal showed off his playmaking with four assists. Scott Brooks said postgame he challenged Beal to create more plays for his teammates rather than take too many shots.
“I like the effort and the energy," Beal said of his first impressions of the team. "That's a positive. We've got a lot of stuff we've got to clean up but there's a lot of stuff we did well."
Rui Hachimura made his Capital One Arena debut, scoring 12 points and grabbing four rebounds in 21 minutes. The 6’8” rookie looked like he belonged, and played well with the starting unit of Ish Smith, Beal, Justin Anderson, and Bryant.
"He's like a wise veteran already," Brooks said of Hachimura. "He just plays with a real calm influence."
Off the bench, Moe Wagner led the Wizards overall in scoring with 16 points, while Jordan McRae added 12 points.
“I thought we had a lot of good moments tonight," Brooks said postgame. "I thought we played pretty hard...Our identity was -- all training camp and re-emphasize today in shootaround -- We have to be scrappy, we have to battle, we have to do it every position every play.”
Knicks rookie RJ Barrett scored 17 points in 39-plus minutes for the Knicks. Prior to his flagrant-two ejection, Marcus Morris also led the Knicks with 17 points.
Next up in the preseason, the Wizards will face the Chinese Basketball Association’s Guangzhou Loong-Lions on Wednesday at 7:00 P.M.