Porzingis’ 35 points not enough as Knicks lose
For the first time since his knee surgery in May, John Wall played in back-to-back games, and the result was a rare win for the Washington Wizards.
Wall scored 23 points and had 11 assists and Otto Porter added 21 points as the Wizards won for just the third time in 11 games, beating the New York Knicks 119-112 on Thursday night.
Wall sat out games in the first two Washington backto-backs this season, and the Wizards lost both times.
After Wednesday night’s disheartening loss to the 76ers where Wall played 24 minutes, Washington coach Scott Brooks felt his star guard was ready to go again.
“There was going to be a time during the season where he was going to have to play back-to-back,” Brooks said. “The way he was progressing during the last four or five weeks, we felt that it was a good time.”
Brooks didn’t want to play Wall more than 32 minutes, and when the Wizards opened up a 27-point lead late in the third quarter, it looked as if Wall could play much less than that.
But New York scored 47 points in the fourth quarter, and Brooks put Wall back in the game in the final minutes.
Once the Knicks went on a 12-0 run to cut the lead to 108-98 with 2:37 to play, Wall secured the win with two late baskets and four free throws.
New York was led by Derrick Rose with 27. Carmelo Anthony scored 19, and Kristaps Porzingis, who had a career-high 35 against Detroit on Wednesday night, was held to 16. Brandon Jennings had 15 of his seasonhigh 17 points in the fourth quarter.
WHAT WALL BRINGS
Brooks liked much about Wall’s game.
“He had a major impact in the first half, and I think he only had two points,” Brooks said. “There are a few players in the league that can impact a game with passing and defense, and he’s one of them.”
Wall had been eager to test himself, and was confident he passed the test.
“I don’t like to miss games. I felt like I could have played earlier, but it was just part of what the doctor’s plan was,” Wall said.
LACK OF EFFORT
Despite the late fourth quarter charge, Rose didn’t necessarily like what he saw from his teammates.
“Tonight was effort,” Rose said. “When we see someone down or we see someone where things are not clicking, that’s when we’ve got to come together as a team. So it’s still early in the year. We’ve still got a lot more games to play. It just takes time.”
New York allowed a season high in points and Washington shot 54.3 percent.
“Some of that is guys are wide open. There’s a few of them that were contested, but we looked like we were a little tired from last night and we weren’t getting all the way up on the guys. And to win on the road, you’ve got to play good defense,” coach Jeff Hornacek said.
Knicks: F Lance Thomas missed his third straight game with a sore left ankle. ... C Joakim Noah was assessed a technical foul midway through the third quarter. . Have lost 10 of last 11 to Washington.
Wizards: Made a season-high 15 3-pointers . ... G Bradley Beal returned after missing three games with a right hamstring injury and had 18 points.
Knicks: Host Atlanta on Sunday. The Hawks have won six straight.
Wizards: Host Miami on Saturday. It’s the second of three consecutive home games.