KNICKS 108 WIZARDS 101 | VERIZON CENTER
How it happened:
Despite missing Amar’e Stoudemire, New York dominated the first quarter of play by outscoring Washington 38-21 behind 71 percent shooting from the floor and 11 assists. Carmelo Anthony paced the team with 11 quick points and tallied 17 in a 108-101 Knicks victory.
Raymond Felton was aggressive, confident, and showed a strong command of the offense early by dishing out four assists in the first quarter. The point guard found Tyson Chandler on a nice pick-and-roll at the 7:22 mark for an alley-oop finish.
John Wall, Nene, and Emeka Okafor did not suit up for Washington and the squad struggled to keep up with the Knicks starters. However, when New York’s top crew went to the bench, the Wizards fought back on an 18-0 run to grab the lead in the second quarter.
The game evened out in the second half as both teams adjusted their lineups and limited starters’ minutes. In the fourth quarter, the Knicks exploded behind sharpshooter Steve Novak while only holding a light one-point advantage with seven minutes remaining. Showing no signs of rust, Novak busted loose and New York created the necessary breathing room on a 13-1 run. Novak drilled 7-of-7 shots from downtown and scored 21 points to help New York build the late lead. J.R. Smith was impressive as well by jumping off the bench to score 20 points in 27 minutes.
Stoudemire did not play on Thursday night due to a bruised knee but it’s not a serious injury and the power forward is expected back on the floor soon.
Anthony seemed sharp throughout his time on the floor. Fresh off a productive Olympic experience, Anthony is in great shape and eased his way to 17 points. The two-time gold medalist hit 4-of-9 shots from the floor, 3-of-3 behind the arc, and a solid 6-of-7 at the charity stripe. Anthony only registered 20 minutes, playing in the first and third quarters but his dominance was quite clear.
The Knicks were solid from downtown by knocking down 18-of-33 treys in the victory.
As mentioned earlier, Felton found his teammates early in the ball game for easy buckets. Felton finished with eight dimes on the night. Off the bench, Jason Kidd posted four points, four assists, three steals, and three boars. Pablo Prigioni scored 14 points and was 4-of-8 behind the 3-point line.
The Knicks will travel back to New York tonight and practice on Friday in preparation for a preseason game against the Celtics on Saturday in Hartford, Connecticut.