NEW YORK (AP)—Larry Brown wants to get his first win as Knicks coach behind him. New York’s dismal start ruined any chance of that happening Friday night.
Just minutes after the Madison Square Garden crowd gave the Brooklyn native a loud ovation during pregame introductions, the Knicks were booed off the court after falling behind by 19 points.
“There’s no excuse for guys not having energy at the beginning of the game,” Knicks guard Stephon Marbury said.
The Knicks rallied to take the lead in the third quarter—allowing Brown to take a positive from the loss—before Jamison took over the game in the final period.
“I’d have been horrified if we didn’t fight back,” Brown said.
Jamison scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Wizards (2-0). He appeared to hurt his wrist after a fall early in the game and was only 4-for-18 through three quarters before helping Washington pull away.
Marbury scored 19 points and Eddy Curry had 12 for the Knicks (0-2), who lost their fourth straight home opener.
Brown, who is coaching his eighth NBA team, was hired in July to turn around his hometown team after it went 33-49 last season.
“I wish this would get over,” Brown said. “It’s really about the players and us getting better.”
New York had erased the 19-point deficit to tie the game at 67 early in the fourth quarter on Malik Rose’s basket. Jamison and Hayes each made two jumpers for an eight-point lead with 7:19 to play. After a free throw by Knicks rookie Channing Frye, Jamison made another jumper to give the Wizards a 77-68 lead.
Jamison would later add a 3-pointer to give Washington an 83-73 lead with just over three minutes remaining.
Before the game started, the Knicks played a clip of the news conference announcing Brown’s hiring on the overhead video board.
The Wizards made sure there would be little else for the home fans to cheer about for a while.
Washington shot 70 percent in the first quarter—Arenas was 5-for-5—and led by as many as 19 points in building a 32-16 lead. The Knicks were booed as they walked off the court after shooting 28 percent.
“Gilbert had the fire in his eyes and he had it going,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “He just edged us on and we rode his coat tails.”
But with Arenas limited to less than two minutes in the second quarter after picking up his third foul, Washington managed only four field goals as New York pulled to 43-35 on Rose’s jumper with less than a second left in the half.
The Knicks were down 10 midway through the third quarter, but Quentin Richardson scored six points in a 14-2 run that gave the Knicks a 61-59 lead on Rose’s two free throws with 40 seconds remaining in the period. A jumper by Arenas tied the game entering the fourth.
“They did a great job of coming back at the end of the first half and beginning of the third quarter,” Jamison said.”
The Wizards were without F Caron Butler, placed on the inactive list before the game because of a left thigh contusion. He was hurt during Washington’s season-opening win at Toronto. … New York had won the last five meetings with the Wizards at Madison Square Garden. … With a win on Saturday against Orlando, the Washington franchise would have its first 3-0 start since 1978-79.