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Bench comes to life in Wizards' win over Knicks

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The Wizards extended their dominance over the New York Knicks with a win, as the bench brings a spark to a hard-fought game. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant rumors.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Drinking a cup of coffee to wake yourself up with a side of a Wizards win is surely the best breakfast known to mankind. Let's get down to business and drown ourselves in happiness.

1. Wizards top Knicks for third straight win

My nails are gone after that game. I could feel that oh boy, here come the Knicks to ruin all good feelings around the Wizards after winning two straight sensation churning in my stomach early on.

But then came Andre MillerKevin Seraphin and Drew Gooden III to bring the team back to life. Miller quieted his doubters, Seraphin did enough to earn him at least a few more games out of Randy Wittman's doghouse and Gooden has showed tons of leadership in that second unit with his energetic play and consistent shooting. His passion is shown in everything he does, whether on the court or the bench. They, mixed with average performances (by their standards) from John WallNene, and Marcin Gortat was a good enough combination to get a gritty road victory at Madison Square Garden.

Oh, and did I mention that DEFENSE?!

To the recaps:

Bullets Forever

ESPN

Comcast SportsNet

Truth About It

Wiz of Awes

The Washington Post

And from the New York side of things...

The New York Post

2. Miller quiets doubters

He'd like to have a few plays back, but overall Wall didn't play horribly against the Knicks. He just didn't have 30 points, 12 assists and five steals. So, like a well-balanced team should, his backup is tasked with doing a good job of running the team when he took his breathers. Against the Knicks, though, Miller did even more than that, allowing the Wizards to come out victorious and hush those who doubted him.

3. Kevin Durant down to only Wizards or Thunder?

It may not be entirely true, but then again, it may not be entirely false, either. Grantland's Zache Lowe shared the news that will continue to make Wizards fans go slightly insane with hope for the hometown star's return to the DMV.

The Texas teams will take their shot if they hear the right intel, and Durant's hometown Wizards are biding their time in the easier conference. That intel is all over the place, by the way. Some teams are optimistic it will be open season, and others have heard rumblings that Durant has already made it known it will come down to the Thunder and Wizards. Nobody really knows.

Why does he do this to us?!

4. Wizards' defense attacks triangle offense

And they may just have established the blueprint for stopping the unique style of offense in the process.

"We talked about it (watching) on film. That was the game plan. Don't let them just move the ball around so they get to their spots. They flash to the basketball," said Paul Pierce, who scored a season-high 17 points. "We wanted to take away all their cuts. I think we did a good job at that and it really took them out of their offense."

They disrupted the Knicks throughout the majority of the night despite a strong start from New York. Their active hands forced turnovers, tight off-ball defense didn't allow easy ball movement and attention away from the ball also stopped the Knicks from having success cutting to the hoop. And Gooden, of all people, also played some very good defense on Carmelo Anthony during a few possessions.

5. More Wizards basketball

The team heads back home to play the Indiana Pacers (1-3) in their first nationally-televised game of the season. The Pacers are coming off a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks last night. With the Wizards (3-1) fresh off a big win in New York and currently riding a three-game win streak, it's important that the team keeps focused against this wounded, but potentially dangerous Pacers team. Though after the bitter taste the Pacers left in the Wizards' mouth after ending their season last year, I doubt anyone will take this game lightly.

Tip off is set for 8 p.m.. The game will be shown live on ESPN and CSN. Radio will be 99.1 WNEW.

Bonus: Did J.R. Smith intentionally hit Glen Rice, Jr. in the groin?

The league will review the play to determine if it was intentionally done. More worrisome for me, as far as the league is concerned, is the officiating on the play. Rice was playing really tight, solid defense on Smith all the way out near midcourt. Smith made a move towards the hoop with Rice draped, legally, all over him. He then pulled back as if making a crossover, and the referee immediately called a foul, despite zero contact from Rice. The ref must have expected that Smith pulled back because he was being held by RIce and immediately called a foul, which wasn't the case. It happens all the time and it's so frustrating. Anyway, Rice ended up being okay, but we'll soon see what the league feels about the incident.