Wizards beat Knicks for second straight win over a top foe

Benjamin Standig, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- John Wall and the Wizards are unlikely to be championship contenders anytime soon. Still, when facing the NBA's finest this season, Washington has delivered a knockout punch.
Wall scored 10 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, and Trevor Ariza added a season-high 20 points as the Wizards continued their mastery over division leaders with 3-point barrage in a 106-96 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
The Wizards have won two straight games, over the Pacific and Atlantic division leaders, and seven of eight at home. Washington (13-35) defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday after previously knocking off the Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls this season, all at home.
Washington ended a 10-game, head-to-head losing streak against New York.
After the Wizards let a nine-point slip away and trailed 73-70 entering the fourth quarter, Wall shredded the Knicks defense in the fourth quarter. In addition to his scoring, the point guard had three fourth-quarter assists, two of which set up 3-pointers.
Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and Amar'e Stoudemire had 19 for Knicks, who entered on a five-game winning streak.
Washington's Martell Webster scored 19 points and matched Ariza with five 3-pointers. The Wizards scored a season-high 36 fourth-quarter points, shooting 68.4 percent (13 of 19) in the period.
"When we're going, we can play with the best of them," Webster said. "We have a great point guard who opens the court up. He opens it up like the Red Sea. If guys collapse, he's finding guys."
Nene finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Washington, which had six double-figure scorers.
The Wizards scored the final six points of the second quarter and open the third with a 10-4 spurt for a 61-52 lead. The Knicks countered with a 21-7 run capped by Anthony's basket for a 73-68 lead.
Wall followed with a tip-in ending the third quarter, which started a 10-0 surge.
"We know it's a game of runs," Wall said. "They're a team capable of getting hot and making a lot of shots. We just tried to withstand the hit they gave us in the third quarter."
Knicks center Tyson Chandler said, "When you're playing a quick point guard like that, you have to stick the game plan. If the game plan doesn't work, then you have to make adjustments. We had problems accomplishing either."
Ariza made two 3-pointers in the fourth, the second one putting Washington ahead 88-80 midway through the quarter.
"We were scoring, but you can't trade baskets, you're asking for trouble," said Chandler, who finished with eight points and 13 rebounds.
Emeka Okafor scored 12 points and Chris Singleton had 10 for the Wizards, who shot 53.2 percent from the field.
Webster sank all three of his 3-point attempts in the first quarter and scored 13 points.
New York entered the game leading the league in made 3-pointers, and they finished 9-for-28 (32.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Wizards made six of nine 3-point attempts in the first half and finished 11 of 20 before a crowd of 18,263 that featured divided loyalties.
Washington made its first seven field-goal attempts and jumped ahead 16-5, though New York led 29-28 after the first quarter. The Wizards then bookended their hot start by making five of seven attempts closing the second quarter, including Ariza's 3-pointer for a 51-48 halftime lead.
"Different teams make different runs and you have to learn to withstand it, stop and make another run of your own," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "I thought we did that tonight probably as well as we've done all year."
NOTES: Wall and Stoudemire each picked up a technical foul late in the second quarter after having words. ...Wizards guard Bradley Beal missed his fifth consecutive game with a sprained right wrist. ...Nene played parts of eight seasons with Anthony in Denver. ... Rasheed Wallace is expected to begin practicing after the All-Star break, Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. The 14-year-veteran has not played since Dec. 13 due to a sore left foot. ... New York has not lost a season series to Washington since the 2005-06 season. ... Hall of Famer and former Lakers great Magic Johnson sat courtside next to Wizards owner Ted Leonsis. ... Also at the Verizon Center: University of Kentucky coach John Calipari, who coached Wall at Kentucky and inactive Knicks center Marcus Camby at Massachusetts.

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