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Jordan Poole drops 41 as the Wizards remain undefeated in preseason play

Jordan Poole couldn’t miss from deep as he dropped a 40-ball in tonight’s win over the Knicks

The Wizards traveled to New York to take on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden for some preseason hoops. This was the third of four preseason games for the Wizards, who won the previous two at home.

Starting lineups:

Wizards:

G Tyus Jones

G Jordan Poole

F Bilal Coulibaly

F Deni Avdija

C Daniel Gafford

Knicks:

G Jalen Brunson

G Quentin Grimes

F R.J. Barrett

F Julius Randle

C Mitchell Robinson

*Kyle Kuzma (calf injury) did not play

Quarter 1:

The game started with an R.J. Barrett lob to Mitchell Robinson, followed by two quick free throws and a deep three from Jordan Poole. Julius Randle then hit back-to-back threes top grow the Knicks lead to six, forcing a Wes Unseld Jr. timeout.

Jordan Poole scored the Wizards first nine points before Deni Avdija sank a jumper for his first points of the preseason.

One thing I liked early on was the play of Bilal Coulibaly. Defensively, he picked Brunson’s pocket and moved well laterally against the Knicks’ starters. On one occasion, he sprinted back on defense and came out of nowhere to steal the pass. Offensively, he was aggressive taking threes and moved well without the ball. After a nice backdoor cut, he was rewarded with two free throws, sinking both.

Mike Muscala couldn’t miss early on, sinking his first three three-pointers. He got semi dunked on by Julius Randle, but looked solid otherwise.

The Wizards shooting picked up towards the end of the quarter, sinking four of their last five threes. They trailed 31-29 after one.

Quarter 2:

Mike Muscala picked up where he left off, hitting his first two threes of the second to get his total up to five threes on five shots. He was looking like a 7-foot Steph Curry out there, which is a great sign for the Wizards center depth. He gave the Wizards their first lead of the game, 34-31.

Following a Tom Thibodeau timeout, the Knicks came blazing back, taking the lead after five quick points from Josh Hart. Tyus Jones turned the ball over two times in three possessions, something we don’t see often. Jones lead the league in assist-turnover ratio the last two seasons, so it may just be an adjustment to being the lead guy.

Second-year guard Ryan Rollins checked in earlier than usual, filling in for the injured Johnny Davis (elbow sprain). He sunk a tough fadeaway jumper to get on the board. The Wizards lead 45-42 at the 4-minute mark.

Poole couldn’t miss, dropping straight buckets on the Knicks defense to the tune of 29 first-half points. The defense picked up and the outside shooting came around as the Wizards took a 13-point lead into the break.

Halftime stats:

Poole: 19 pts

Muscala: 15 pts

Randle: 12 pts

Quarter 3:

Poole continued his streaky shooting into the second half, hitting a three off a dime from Tyus Jones. The Knicks answered back though, taking advantage of Washington turnovers to cut the lead in half.

Patrick Baldwin Jr checked in to make his Wizards debut. The Wizards acquired Baldwin Jr as part of the Poole trade. The 20-year-old forward has three-and-D upside as a lengthy 6’9” forward. He showed his aggression early, shooting two threes and missing both.

At the halfway point, the Wizards maintained a solid lead over the Knicks, 77-68.

The Knicks got going from deep, triggered by three-straight lockdown defensive possessions. A Julius Randle three trimmed the Wizards’ lead to five, forcing a Wes Unseld Jr timeout.

The Wizards bench entered the game and immediately took back control. Threes from Delon Wright and Danilo Gallinari raised the lead to 13 entering the 4th quarter.

Quarter 4:

Miles McBride started the final frame with a long-ball, his first points of the game. The Wizards answered though when Corey Kispert found a cutting Tyus Jones for an easy layup.

Tyus Jones came alive, scoring seven-straight points, growing the lead to 14 halfway through the 4th. They lead 111-97 after a Knicks timeout, with Wes Unseld Jr putting the end-of-the-bench guys in to get some run.

These guys held it down, maintaining the lead and securing the road win in New York.

The Wizards remained undefeated in preseason play, defeating the Knicks, 131-106

Stats:

Poole: 41 pts (6/12 3pt)

Muscala: 20 pts / 7 reb / 5 threes

Jones: 13 pts / 7 ast