Wall leads Wizards past Anthony, Knicks

Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards capped a winning week with something akin to a road victory on their home court. Forward Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks cannot triumph these days no matter where they play.
Point guard John Wall continued his scoring surge with 31 points and the Washington Wizards extended the Knicks' losing streak to five games with a 98-89 win on Saturday night.
Forward Martell Webster scored 19 points and center Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Wizards (5-8). Washington won three of four games this week after losing four straight.
"We need to get some winning streaks around here, but these last four games, winning 75 percent of them, we'll take that any week," said Webster, who drained five 3-pointers.
Washington took the lead for good during a 19-7 third quarter run and fended off New York's attempted rallies in the fourth. Last season the Wizards did not pick up their fifth win until Jan. 7 after an infamous 4-28 start.
Anthony had 23 points and 12 rebounds and guard J.R. Smith scored 15 for the Knicks (3-9). New York scored only 37 points in the second half.
"We didn't play a full 48 minutes together tonight," said Anthony, who faced constant double teams. "We played three-fourths of the game. That one quarter, they took advantage of it."
The Knicks endured that early second half lull despite many in the crowd of 18,089 vocally rooting on the visitors. The partisan cheers spurred on the home team.
"Whenever we play some of those high caliber teams with superstars, it's usually an away game for us at home," Webster said. "But we love it, we love the atmosphere because it gives us a chance to shut up those fans."
Wall's torrid shooting took care of the rest. He made his first seven field-goal attempts, six in the first quarter, and 10 of 18 overall. In Friday's 96-88 loss at Toronto, Wall scored 37 points on 15-for-21 shooting. The four-year veteran had never scored 30 points in back-to-back games.
"Just comfortable with my jump shot," Wall said about his improved shooting touch. "I know teams are going to continue to go under (picks) and tonight I was making shots."
Guard Bradley Beal scored 13 of his 18 in the second half for the Wizards, who had dropped their last two games to New York.
Anthony's jumper pulled New York closer at 81-78 early in the fourth quarter. Webster countered with two 3-pointers and forward Jan Vesely provided rare bench points with a fast-break dunk for an 89-80 lead with 6:14 remaining.
New York held a nine-point lead in the first half, but never pulled closer than six points over the final seven minutes.
"This is tough for anybody to go through, especially games we believe we should be winning," Anthony said.
Despite playing their fourth game in five days, Wizards coach Randy Wittman went with an eight-man rotation. Washington received only six points off the bench.
"I gotta do what I gotta do," Wittman said. "We've got to win games."
Webster's 3-pointer put Washington in front for good at 56-54. Two free throws from Wall gave Washington a 70-61 lead with 4:37 remaining in the period.
Washington out-rebounded New York 45-40 with Gortat grabbing seven offensive boards. In the third quarter, he had nine rebounds and made all four of his field-goal attempts.
"(Marcin) came out singlehandedly in that third quarter and set the tempo and the pace for how we were going to finish out that game," Webster exclaimed.
Early fourth-quarter fouls on Washington put New York in the bonus for the final 10 minutes. The Knicks failed to capitalize, missing 7 of 10 and finishing 6 of 15 overall.
Off since Wednesday's loss to Indiana, the veteran Knicks looked rather spry in the first half and entered halftime with a 52-49 lead. Anthony scored 13 points and forward Amar'e Stoudamire made all five of his field-goal attempts for 10 of 12 points. Both teams shot exactly 50 percent from the field, but the Knicks cratered to under 37 percent after halftime.
NOTES: The Knicks played a third straight game without PG Raymond Felton (lower back/left hip injury). ... Wizards starting SF Trevor Ariza (strained right hamstring) missed his fifth consecutive game while reserve F Al Harrington (sore right knee) sat out for the sixth straight game. ... Wizards SG Bradley Beal sank six 3-pointers in Wednesday's win at the Cleveland Cavaliers. Washington's top scorer and the NBA's leader in minutes played per game is one of four players to make at least six 3-pointers in multiple games this season. The teams will meet three times this season with the next two in New York. ... The Knicks' road swing heads west for three games, starting against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday. ... The Wizards are off until Tuesday when they host the Los Angeles Lakers.

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