Can’t Beat the Wizards — March 10, 2020: Washington 122 NY 115

The 20-45 Knicks just can’t seem to beat the 24-40 Wizards — even when they have big leads against them. In this one the Knicks overcame a 14-point Washington lead in the 1st quarter to take an 18-point lead in the 3rd quarter — but Washington surged back and won easily down the stretch, as Bradley Beal was again too much to handle.

The Wizards are well coached by Scott Brooks, and seem to have just enough talent — especially Bradley Beal — to beat the Knicks. NY lost a preseason game to Washington, and 3 out of 4 during the regular season:

Consider that if 2 more of those regular-season games above go the Knicks way, NY would be 22-43 and Washington would be 22-42.

Ntilikina’s Best Game

Frank Ntilikina excelled in this game — his best game as a pro: 20 points on 6-9 shooting (3-5 from 3) with 10 assists and 2 steals, only 2 turnovers in 30 minutes. He penetrated, orchestrated, and scored when he was the best option.

Knicks 2nd Quarter Comeback

The Knicks launched their comeback in the 2nd quarter on the hot shooting of Bobby Portis (20 pts on 9-15), the stellar play of Ntilikina, with Taj Gibson (4-4 for 10 pts), Mitchell Robinson (4-5 shooting, 10 pts), and  Julius Randle (16 points on 5-11) dominating.

Nobody Could Stop Beal

But nobody could stop Bradley Beal in the 4th — he hit 6 of his last 10 shots to finish with 39 points.

“We were anticipating Bradley Beal having a (big) second half, and we needed to come out and do a better job of containing,” said coach Mike Miller in the post game.

RJ Barrett had an off game — 5-15 shooting (1-5 from 3; 5-7 from the free throw line) for 16 pts.

For Washington

Shabazz Napier had 21 points and Thomas Bryant was outstanding with a double-double (15 pts, 10 rebounds), Rui Hachimura (12 pts 7 rebounds), and Moritz Wagner (10 pts) provided Washington interior strength in the 4th. The Wizards were without Ish Smith and of course John Wall is out for the year.


The game was played amidst the impending alarm of the Coronavirus scare. The lockerroom was closed to reporters after the game, by new NBA guidelines. The arena was half filled — as travel during this time is becoming ill advised.

The Boxscore

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