Wizards Complete Largest Comeback in the NBA this Year
Photos | Box Score
Down 21 at the half in the final game before the All-Star break, it would've been really easy for the Wizards to mail this one in against the Knicks at MSG. They most certainly did not take the easy way out, instead completing the largest comeback in the NBA this season, and beating New York 118-113 behind Beal's 36. The Wizards trailed by as many as 27 (largest comeback previously was Boston's 26 point comeback against Houston December 28), but used an electric third quarter in which they outscored the Knicks 39-15 to get back in the game and eventually win. Washington has now won at MSG eight consecutive times.
This one started out about as poorly as you could imagine for Washington, with Tim Hardaway Jr. and the Knicks simply scorching hot. At one point in the first quarter the Knicks scored on 13 consecutive possessions. Eventually in the 2nd quarter they would go up by a seemingly insurmountable 27, led by an incredible half from Tim Hardaway Jr. Hardaway, who was 5/44 from deep over his previous three games, hit five in the first half alone en route to 32 before the break. At one point, THJ hit 11 consecutive shots.
The Knicks 21 point halftime lead would last just nine minutes, as whatever Scott brooks said in the locker clearly worked wonders. Washington hit 16 of their first 18 shots, and by the time Beal hit a three to give Washington their first lead at the 3:06 mark, the game had been completely turned on its head. The stats from the quarter were staggering as Washington shot 81%, outrebounded the Knicks 19-2 and outscored them 39-15.
Washington didn't cruise through the fourth as New York put up resistance, but Beal particularly made sure this one wasn't too interesting late. With Washington up four with a little over a minute to go, Beal threw down a highlight reel dunk and Satoransky followed that up immediately with his career-high third block to seal the deal. What was once a 27 point deficit saw a 32 point swing, as Washington won by five.
The Wizards wer down to just one point guard in the game with Wall & Frazier out, and it was up to Beal and Porter to run the offense when Sato sat. The result was big nights for all three. Beal, in his last game before his first All-Star appearance, had a huge all around line with 36 points on 14/22 shooting to go along with seven assists, five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Porter finished with 22 points on 10/18 shooting while Sato had nine points and a career-high 11 assists. Mahinmi also tied his season-high with 17 points and eight boards.
Tim Hardaway Jr. may have had 32 in the first half, but he disappeared in the second, scoring just five to finish with 37, one shy of his career-high. Enes Kanter gave the Wizards some problems on the interior, scoring 24 and grabbing 14 boards.
Beal and Wall now head to LA for All-Star weekend while the rest of the squad now has a week off before they open up their post All-Star slate in Cleveland on February 22.