KNICKS 103 WIZARDS 65 | MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
How it happened:
Avoiding a potential trap game with contests against Miami and Boston on the horizon, the Knicks focused their attention on the Wizards in a dominating 103-65 victory at Madison Square Garden.
New York set the tone from the opening tip by building a 7-2 lead behind Baron Davis’ seven early points. Carmelo Anthony scored eight points in the first quarter to pace the home squad while Washington struggled mightily from the floor, only shooting 28.6 percent from the floor.
The Wizards woes continued in the second period despite a brief spurt that knocked the Knicks lead down to six points. After Washington’s burst, New York regained control with a 20-5 over the final 4:41 of the first half.
The Knicks didn’t look back in the second half while the bench crew put the final touches on the impressive performance. J.R. Smith led New York with 23 points, Baron Davis chipped in 18, and Steve Novak added 18 points in 22 minutes.
New York was deadly behind the arc, connecting on 48 percent of its long ball attempts. The win lifted the Knicks to a 31-28 overall record and they remained on track in the postseason race.
Anthony only needed 30 minutes of work in the blowout win on Friday night. After a string of scoring at least 30 points, the Knicks All-Star dropped 18 on 8-of-17 shooting from the field. Anthony also grabbed five boards to help New York secure its second straight victory.
Washington just about went an entire quarter without a field goal. At the 7:03 mark of the third quarter, John Wall scored a bucket and the Wizards did not register another field goal until Shelvin Mack hit a layup with 6:43 remaining in the fourth period.
State of the Playoffs:
New York moved up to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference standings with the win and the loss by the Sixers. If the playoffs started today, the Knicks would square off against the Miami Heat in the first round.
News and Notes:
Iman Shumpert suffered a sprained ankle in the second half and did not return to the contest.
The Knicks will have a day at the Training Center on Saturday to prepare for the matinee showdown against the Heat on Sunday.