Knicks takeaways from Thursday's 124-117 loss to Wizards, including a monster night for Kemba Walker

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  • New York Knicks
    New York Knicks
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  • Washington Wizards
    Washington Wizards
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  • Kemba Walker
    Kemba Walker
    American basketball player
Knicks Kemba Walker celebrates white jersey Wizards
Knicks Kemba Walker celebrates white jersey Wizards

Coming off their second win in three games, the Knicks lost 124-117 to the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

Here are the takeaways….

- Before the game, RJ Barrett and Quentin Grimes cleared the NBA’s health and safety protocol. However, coach Tom Thibodeau kept Barrett out for Thursday’s game.

- The Knicks started the game on an 8-0 run thanks to a pair of threes from Alec Burks and Evan Fournier. However, the hot shooting for the Knicks would halt as the Wizards went on an 8-3 run of their own. The Wizards' defense in the paint forced the Knicks into taking more threes and perimeter shots, which they had trouble making. Both teams would trade leads until the final two minutes of the quarter when the Wizards went on a 11-2 run to take a 31-27 lead after one quarter.

- The start of the second quarter was marred by Knicks turnovers and poor transition defense. While the Knicks, especially Burks, made sure to get to the point and draw fouls if need be, the team had a hard time defending the paint against the Wizards' many bigs and cutters. The shots would start going down for the Knicks as they went on a 10-2 run, led by Kemba Walker, to take back the lead. Walker was the star of the second quarter - and the game - as he dropped 23 of his 28 first half points in the second frame. Both teams shot around 50 percent, but the disparity in assists was stark. The Wizards out-assisted the Knicks 17-6 in the first half, leading to many of Washington's good looks. However, behind Walker's unbelievable second quarter the Knicks took a 64-57 lead into halftime.

- The Knicks' troubles defending the paint continued to start the third quarter as the Wizards went on a 14-2 run to retake the lead. The Knicks would get out of their shooting slump to cut into the lead, but the Wizards' excellent passing led to open threes. Walker brought the Knicks back with a 9-2 run by himself to keep the game close, 90-86, after three. He scored 13 more points in the third quarter to bring his total to 41. Julius Randle tried to get involved in the offense, but couldn't find the bottom of the basket shooting just 39 percent and 0-for-5 from three up to this point.

- Again, poor defense and shooting led to a 7-3 run for the Wizards to start the fourth quarter. Washington constantly doubled Walker and forced the other Knicks to score. Multiple times the Knicks cut the lead to two or three, but the Wizards would hit a big shot to put distance between them. Whether it was giving up a big three or an offensive rebound, the Knicks just couldn't find a way to tie or take the lead. The Wizards would make their free throws to put the game away and win, 124-117.

- Walker had his best game as a Knick, posting 44 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Randle finished with 23 points and nine rebounds. Fournier, after stringing together some good games, scored just eight points in 38 minutes.

Highlights

What’s next

The Knicks host the Atlanta Hawks on Christmas Day this Saturday at 12 p.m.