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Recap: Wizards lose to Knicks 131-113
FINAL: Wizards 113 | Knicks 131
Wizards: Bradley Beal (22), Russell Westbrook (14), Deni Avdija (14)
Knicks: Julius Randle (37), RJ Barrett (21), Alec Burks (20)
The Wizards lost to the Knicks 131-113 on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 22 points. Julius Randle scored a game-high 37 points, one of three Knicks to score 20-plus points. Washington and New York will meet again on Thursday as the Wizards close a three-game road trip.
The Wizards jumped out to an early six-point lead as all five starters scored in the first four minutes of the game. Rui Hachimura and Garrison Mathews each knocked down early 3-pointers, but Randle, who played all 12 minutes of the first quarter, led a Knicks resurgence. New York went on a 20-8 run and entered the second quarter leading by eight. With just under eight minutes to go in the second quarter, Randle knocked down his third 3-pointer of the night, sparking a 14-4 run that put the Knicks up by 19. Washington’s offense struggled the entire second quarter, hitting just one field goal in the final 4:53 of the first half. The Wizards were 6-18 (.333) from the field and 0-6 (.000) from three in the second quarter and trailed 69-49 at halftime.
New York ran away in the third quarter, going on a 17-4 run just minutes into the second half to take an 88-57 lead. While the Wizards’ offense had some success, shooting 10-18 (.556) from the field, Randle and the Knicks were red hot. New York shot 13-24 (.542) from the field and Randle knocked down four of his five attempts from three in the third quarter. With the Knicks up 28, both teams leaned heavily on their reserves in the fourth quarter. Deni Avdija scored nine points on 3-3 (1.000) from the field while Moe Wagner totaled seven points and three assists in the fourth.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Westbrook’s free throw improvement continues
While Westbrook struggled to generate much offense from the field, he did manage to get to the line 10 times and continued a recent trend of improved free throw shooting. After shooting 49.5% from the line in 14 games from February 14-March 13, Westbrook has now shot 33-42 (.785) from the stripe in his last four games. While the jump in percentage is most notable, the spike in attempts per game is also significant. He shot only 6.6 per game during his 14-game cold stretch and has attempted 10.5 per game in his last four outings.
Wizards struggle to take care of the ball
The Wizards fell in an early hole as Beal and Westbrook struggled to minimize their turnovers. The backcourt duo combined for nine total turnovers, seven of which came in the second half. As a whole, the Wizards committed 17 turnovers while the Knicks turned it over just 10 times, the first of which didn’t come until the second quarter. The Knicks managed to generate 13 points off the Wizards’ 10 turnovers. Points off turnovers were just a portion of the easy points New York created. They outscored the Wizards in the paint (50-46), in second-chance points (23-15) and in transition (11-8).
Randle’s seven threes key huge night
From the jump, Randle was the driving force behind the Knicks’ success, scoring 14 points on 5-8 (.625) shooting in the first quarter as part of his 21-point first half. Randle’s 37-point performance marked his fifth game this season with at least 30 points. He scored 21 of his 37 points on 7-10 (.700) from 3-point range, tying his career high for 3-pointers made. Through two matchups with the Wizards this season, Randle is averaging 30.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and shooting 53.8% from the field.
NEXT UP: Wizards at Knicks / Thursday, March 25 / 7:30 P.M. / Madison Square Garden
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT