It was clear from the get-go that the Wizards were not heavily invested in making a statement in their final road game of the season. They gave up an alley-oop on the opening possession of the game and fell behind by 10 before the end of the first quarter. Jeff Green pulled the Wizards back into it in the second quarter, scoring 18 points of the team’s 33 points in the quarter to erase the deficit and put Washington ahead by 3 heading into halftime.
The starters fed off the momentum Green established and took an eleven-point lead late in the third quarter before Scott Brooks pulled everyone except for Troy Brown Jr. He went with a young lineup of Brown, Chasson Randle, Sam Dekker, Devin Robinson, and uhh ... Ian Mahinmi to close the game.
The unit could not get an offensive rhythm together. They went 9-of-29 from the field in the fourth quarter, including just 5-of-15 in the restricted area, while the Knicks’ youngsters made it competitive again. Mario Hezonja scored 13 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead 3 with 44 seconds left to hand Washington their 49th loss of the season.
The Wizards’ loss, coupled with the Mavericks’ win over the Grizzlies, puts Washington in a position to secure no worse than a tie for the sixth-worst record if they lose to the Celtics in their season finale on Tuesday night. Getting that loss will not be easy. Brad Stevens said his top players will play little, if at all, against the Wizards now that Boston is locked in as the fourth seed. If Washington wins, they could go from the sixth-worst record to the ninth-worst record, depending on how the Mavericks, Pelicans, and Grizzlies play out the rest of the season.
Next up: The Wizards (32-49) wrap up the 2018-19 regular season at home on Tuesday night as they host the Boston Celtics (48-32) on TNT at 7 pm Eastern Time.