The Washington Wizards returned from the All-Star break to host the New York Knicks on Friday night. The Wizards led by as many as 19 points but crumbled in the second half to lose, 115-109.
FINAL: Knicks 115, Wizards 109— Marco Gacina (@MarcoGacina) February 25, 2023
- Julius Randle COOKED tonight, dropping 46 points via a flurry of threes, dunks, and crafty layups
- Wizards collapsed in the second half, giving up a 19 point lead #DCAboveAll #NewYorkForever
Julius Randle, energized by either his recent All-Star selection or his pitiful performance at the NBA’s 3-Point Contest, reached into the depths of his bag to drop 46 points on the Wizards. Threes, dunks, layups, post moves — Randle did it all offensively. He was 16-for-29 from the field overall and 7-for-14 from deep.
The Wizards were extremely efficient, but they failed to put up enough shots to overcome Randle’s monster performance. Though the Wizards shot 49% from the floor and 43% from deep, New York put up 13 more shots than Washington while committing five fewer turnovers.
The Knicks displayed something all game long that sometimes feels absent from the Wizards’ playbook: hustle. Jalen Brunson positioned himself possession after possession to draw charges, and Isaiah Hartenstein and Mitchell Robinson crashed the glass with a Rodman-like aggression. Additionally, Josh Hart is in a league of his own when it comes to hustle. The 6’4 guard is everywhere defensively, and he jumps for rebounds and dives for loose balls like his life depends on it. The Wizards hustle-y-est player, Jordan Goodwin, was just signed to a full NBA contract but spent the game glued to the bench and did not see the floor.
Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma led the Wizards in scoring, putting up 23 points each. The only other notable statistic in the box score was Delon Wright’s 15 points, which tied his season-high.
The Wizards now fall to 28-31 but maintain control of the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. The Knicks, meanwhile, have now won four straight games and sit at 34-27.