Knicks takeaways from Saturday's 121-105 win over Wizards, including 30-point nights by Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle

The Knicks dominated the hapless, rebuilding Washington Wizards for stretches before allowing their hosts back into the game only to finish the fourth with a flourish for a 121-105 win Saturday night in D.C.

It was the fourth-straight win of the season for New York (21-15) – who got 39 points from Julius Randle and 33 from Jalen Brunson – to hand Washington (6-29) their fourth straight defeat.

Here are the takeaways….

- The key for the Knicks was to not play down to the level of their opponents, seize on any Wizards mistake and then translate the wide gap on paper between the two franchises into reality. It did not take long for that to happen as New York opened a 10-2 lead inside the game’s first two minutes as they started 4-for-4 from the floor, with threes coming from Randle and Donte DiVincenzo.

The Knicks did suffer a nearly three-and-a-half-minute stretch without a field goal in the first, but the Wizards committed eight turnovers – including five steals that translated into six fast-break points – and shot just 8-for-20 in the period setting up New York to close on an 11-1 run for a 34-19 lead after 12 minutes played.

- Four minutes into the second, Tom Thibodeau called for time after Washington had a 6-0 run on a New York turnover and two shooting fouls. The Knicks responded with a 16-2 run covering four minutes to stretch the lead to 56-30. The air would have left the Capital One Arena in the nation’s capital, but the Knicks fans in attendance were having too much fun.

In the first half, the gulf in class between the two sides was stark. Washington committed 14 turnovers that translated to 19 points for the visitors. The Knicks’ 16 fast-break points in the half bested their 15-per-game average.

New York would settle for a 63-43 halftime lead after shooting 22-for-42 from the floor (52.4 percent), compared to Washington's 16-for-41 from the floor (39 percent) and 3-for-15 from beyond the arc.

Randle led the Knicks with 21 points with four rebounds, two assists and a steal in the first, with Brunson adding 14 points, five assists and two rebounds.

Meanwhile, the stars for Washington were less than bright: Kyle Kuzma scored 10 on 4-for-10 shooting but contributed zero rebounds, assists or steals and committed three turnovers. Jordan Poole had six points on four shots while looking seemingly devoid of faith in his jumper. He entered Saturday shooting 40.8 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from three.

- Hopes of an easy second half took a hit after an 8-2 Wizards run forcing a Thibodeau timeout two minutes into the half. An OG Anunoby turnover led to a Deni Avdija three – for his seventh point of the period. Anunoby would answer, but a Kuzma three, Poole layup, and another Kuzma three forced another timeout two minutes later with the 20-point lead down to six at 68-62.

The Wizards opened the first four minutes of the third quarter hitting eight of their first 10 shots as the Knicks started 2-for-8 and were outrebounded 7-1. Thibs would be forced to take his third timeout of the quarter with 5:23 after another Kuzma three cut the lead to five.

But that final timeout may have done the trick as the Knicks responded with a 17-6 run to end the quarter (with eight coming from Randle) and New York a 91-75 lead entering the fourth quarter.

- Thibs called for time after just 76 seconds in the fourth following a Wizards fast-break dunk, but New York's bench unit – which had played few minutes to that point – knocked down a pair of threes from Quentin Grimes and Josh Hart (both off Deuce McBride assists) to push the lead back to 20 and force Wes Unseld Jr. into a timeout.

Washington brought their starters back in and a 7-0 run followed leading to Brunson’s and Randle's re-insertion into the game. Washington had cut the 20-point lead in half, but threes from Brunson and Randle, a pair of driving layups from the forward and a putback slam from Anunoby had New York up 113-92 with just under four to play and the benches began to empty.

Randle finished with 39 points in 38 minutes on 13 of 23 shooting (3 of 8 from three) with seven rebounds and five assists. Burnson had 33 on 10 of 18 shooting (4 of 8 from three) with eight assists and three rebounds in 35 minutes.

Anunoby would have nine points on 4-for-7 shooting with five rebounds and two assists in 31 minutes as he continues to get his feet wet with New York.

- Following up a couple of monster nights rebounding the ball Isaiah Hartenstein was looking to continue that domination in the first half, with 10 rebounds, four steals and six points in 18 first-half minutes for a plus-minus of plus-21, best in the game. The new starting center finished 19 rebounds and 2 blocks in a team-high 39 minutes for a plus-26.

- McBride, coming off knocking down four threes against the Sixers, picked up where he left off as he looks to lock down the reserve point guard role following the Immanuel Quickley trade. The six-foot-two guard grabbed a pair of assists to Randle – who scored 13 in the opening frame – before punctuating the first by soaring for a tip slam just ahead of the buzzer. He finished with five points on five assists.

- For the Wizards, Kuzma finished with 28 points on 10 of 21 shooting and had two rebounds and two assists. Poole managed just 10 pints. Avdija scored 23 (9-for-13 shooting) with 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals, shining as Washington's best performer.


What's next

The Knicks return home to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, tip off at 7:30 p.m., before hitting the road for a two-game trip.