Knicks 96, Wizards 88

Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points and Raymond Felton had 23 as the New York Knicks won their third straight game with a 96-88 win over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
J.R. Smith tallied 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who opened the fourth quarter with 10 consecutive points after trailing 77-73. The Knicks (35-20) then closed the game on a 9-2 run over the final 4:03.
Bradley Beal had a career-high 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Emeka Okafor had 11 points and 10 boards for the Wizards, who have lost two straight, both at home. John Wall had 16 points, six assists and five turnovers for Washington, which had not lost consecutive home games since Dec 22-26. The Wizards fell to 18-39.
Anthony's layup gave the Knicks their largest lead of fourth quarter at 87-79. The game of runs then saw the Wizards score seven straight, with Beal's 3-pointer making it 87-86. But the Wizards did not make another field goal the rest of the game. Anthony's 3-pointer with over two minutes left gave the Knicks breathing room at 92-87.
The Knicks shot just 8 of 28 from beyond the 3-point arc, but made 18 of 21 free throws, including 8 of 9 from Anthony.
Entering the game Washington had won six straight games against teams with records of .500 or better, its longest such streak since 1976. Since Jan. 7, the Wizards were 11-4 against teams with winning records, including a 106-96 victory over the Knicks on Feb. 6.
Anthony, who finished 10 of 24 from the field, scored seven points during an 18-4 run that started in the second quarter and ended early in the third, as the Knicks led 63-52 with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
But by the quarter's end, Washington led 77-73 following a 19-5 spurt, with Beal scoring eight, including two 3-pointers.
However, the Wizards missed their first seven shots of the fourth quarter and played from behind for the final 10 minutes.
Beal's 29 points are the most by a Wizard this season, and the rookie tallied his third double-double of the season. Washington has not had a 30-point scorer since Jordan Crawford had 32 on April 18.
Amar'e Stoudamire had 12 points for the Knicks, who had lost four straight before this current winning stretch.
The Knicks closed the back-and-forth first half with a 9-0 spurt for a 54-48 lead as Smith sank consecutive 3-pointers and assisted on Anthony's fast-break layup. Anthony missed eight of 12 shots, but scored 15 points.
Wizards reserve point guard A.J. Price did not play due to a right quad contusion after splitting with Wall over the previous two games.
Notes: Over his previous five games, Anthony had shot 34.5 percent (39 of 113) from the field. ...Chris Singleton replaced Nene in the Wizards' starting lineup Friday. It was Singleton's first start since Dec. 18. ...James White made his seventh start of the season as Knicks coach Mike Woodson brought Jason Kidd off the bench. The 39-year-old Kidd, who entered the game averaging 6.8 points and 3.5 assists, started 48 of the previous 49 games he played in this season. ...The two teams split their first two meetings this season. The season finale in the series is April 9 in New York. ...Beal sank his 76th three-pointer of the season in the first quarter, establishing a Wizards rookie record. ...The Wizards close their three-game homestand Sunday against the Philadelphia 76ers. ...New York hosts Miami on Sunday.

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