Washington started the game sloppy on the defensive end, and no one benefited more than Tim Hardaway Jr. in the first half. Coming into the game, he had shot 25.8 percent from the field and just 11.4 percent from deep over the previous seven games. The Wizards left him open and dared him to make open shots, but he was hot early, and it didn’t take long before they adjusted to send more attention his way. Even then, it wasn’t enough to slow him down, as he connected on 12 of his first 13 shots as the Knicks raced out to a 68-41 lead late in the second quarter.
Bradley Beal made three buckets near the end of the half to close the gap, and then the Wizards rode that momentum into the third quarter. Washington started the second half on a 35-11 run to take the lead for the first time since the opening minute of the game.
It was a back-and-forth battle throughout the fourth quarter, as both teams tried to channel what made them click earlier in the game. Eventually, it was Beal’s playmaking that made the difference as he scored 11 points in the fourth, including two on this dunk to seal the victory.
the bounce pass, so underrated pic.twitter.com/aRWp6z4FrF— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) February 15, 2018
He finished with 36 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and a pair of blocks in his final game before his appearance at the All-Star Game this weekend.
Washington throws a block party at the right time
The Wizards have been a below-average team at blocking shots this season, and things have only gotten worse since John Wall, their top shot-blocker, went down. However, in this game Washington made their mark rejecting shots. They blocked nine shots, the third-most they’ve swatted in a game this season, and the most since early November.
Ian Mahinmi tied a season-high with three blocks as part of one of his most effective nights of the season. Tomas Satoransky engulfed Jarrett Jack all night and finished with a season-high 3 blocks of his own, including a big one late to help Washington hold off New York’s final push.
Bradley Beal also made his impact known with a pair of blocks in the second half and played a big part in slowing down Tim Hardaway Jr. after he scored 32 points in the first half.
- This win is the biggest comeback in the NBA this season, topping the Celtics’ 26 point comeback against the Rockets in late December.
- Bradley Beal made his 800th 3-pointer in this game. He’s the only player in NBA history to make 800 before turning 25, and he still has 25 more games to play before his birthday.
- Kelly Oubre Jr.’s February struggles continue. He was 1-of-6 from the field and on the month he’s 28.6 percent from field and 7-of-36 from deep.
Next up: The Wizards are off for the next week due to the All-Star break. They’ll return to action Thursday, February 22 at 8 p.m. in Cleveland against the revamped Cleveland Cavaliers.