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Wizards end skid, beat Knicks 108-95
The Wizards snapped a five-game losing streak with a 108-95 win over the Knicks on Sunday night. John Wall had a game-high 26 points and seven assists, while Bradley Beal added 22 points and eight rebounds.
Dwight Howard had his first double-double as a Wizard, and Markieff Morris filled the stat sheet with 16 points, six rebounds, and five assists. Howard was a game-high +27 in 30-plus minutes. Morris paced the Wizards in the first half with 14 of his 16 points, while Jeff Green had a positive impact with 10 points and six rebounds in the first half. Austin Rivers did not stuff the box score by any means, but he made several winning plays and finished the game +12 in 25 minutes.
Beal and company were able to hold Tim Hardaway Jr. to seven points on 2-of-10 shooting in 24-plus minutes. Hardaway came into the game averaging over 25 points per game, but he was clearly not healthy and even went to the locker room in the first half.
Giving up only 95 points in today’s NBA is an accomplishment in itself, and the Wizards were able to lock in defensively and shut down the Knicks down the stretch. The Wizards used a 16-2 run over five minutes and 38 seconds in the fourth quarter to blow the game open and secure their second win of the season. Washington forced 20 turnovers for 22 points, holding New York to only 43.4% from the field.
”It was nice to see below 100,” head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. “We haven’t seen that. I think the guys competed. We started off the game with our best defense of the early season and then we finished that. We’ve had some struggles in the fourth quarter stopping teams and they had a couple of hot players, small guys that were attacking. Seventeen points in the fourth quarter defensively. That’s about as good as we can get.”
Kelly Oubre Jr. stepped into the starting lineup for Otto Porter Jr., who was unavailable due to a left big toe contusion. Oubre played 24 minutes, scoring nine points and grabbing four rebounds. He made an impact defensive with a game-high nine deflections.
After the game, Brooks said that Porter is considered day-to-day and was not sure if he will practice on Monday.
Next up, the Wizards (2-7) head to Dallas to begin a three-game road trip on Tuesday night against the Mavericks.
“We needed something to break the ice and tonight was good for us to do so,” Howard said. “I think from here on out we know how we’ve got to play. We have to communicate on defense, we have to stay positive, and we have to stay locked in on what our mission is. That’s to win a championship. We dug ourselves a little hole by coming out slow, but we got our opportunity to make it up.”
”We finally won one game at home,” Wall said postgame. “All we can do is look at the positive that we did for this game, go back watch film tomorrow, look at the negative that we did and try to correct those, and keep getting better. We did not win four or five games in a row or anything like that. We are still 2-7. Still got a lot more work that we can do.”