John Wall's 31 points help Wizards beat Knicks 98-89
WASHINGTON (AP) - Taking their poor play at home with them on the road, the New York Knicks allowed Washington's John Wall to score 31 points and dropped into a last-place tie in the Atlantic Division with a 98-89 loss to the Wizards on Saturday night.
Wall registered at least 30 points in consecutive games for the first time in his NBA career, after scoring 37 in a loss to Toronto on Friday. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft also had seven assists and a soaring block on Iman Shumpert's layup attempt in the closing seconds.
Washington has won three of four games and is 5-8. The Knicks fell to 3-9, the same record as the Brooklyn Nets.
Marcin Gortat added 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Wizards, while Martell Webster scored 19, and Bradley Beal 18. That made up for a paltry six points from Washington's reserves.
Carmelo Anthony led New York with 23 points and 12 rebounds, and J.R. Smith scored 15. But the Knicks shot only 44 percent on field-goal tries and were awful at the foul line, finishing 6 for 15. Smith himself was 0 for 4.
Amare Stoudemire surpassed his previous season best in points - six - by early in the second quarter, and he even delivered a forceful fast-break dunk in the second quarter. He wound up with 12 points.
The Knicks were without point guard Raymond Felton for a third consecutive game with a sore back, and center Tyson Chandler remains out with a broken leg.
While they'd been decent on the road so far - 2-2 entering Saturday, compared to 1-6 at home - this was not their finest hour. New York clearly misses Felton's direction and Chandler's pick-and-roll possibilities on offense, and no one was fast enough to slow down Wall at all.
Wall started 7 for 7 on field-goal attempts and 3 for 3 from the free-throw line, scoring more than half of Washington's points - 17 of 33 - over the game's first 14Â½ minutes. His first miss was on a baseline jumper as the shot clock neared zero with four minutes left in the second quarter.
Still, New York led 52-49 at halftime, led by 13 points from Anthony, and 10 from Stoudemire. Wall had 19 points until then, while the Wizards' reserves combined for four.
But Washington outscored New York 27-17 in the third quarter, which ended with Wall's floater in the lane, making it 76-69.
Apparently, Knicks coach Mike Woodson figures it already is time for some 1-on-1 meetings with players to make sure the season is not slipping away.
Woodson said that he and Anthony had a chat after practice Friday.
"I just wanted to see where his head was," Woodson said, "and making sure that everybody stays the course. Not just Melo. I've had some sit-downs with a few guys, just to let them know it's still a long season and we've got to start picking it up."
Asked whether Anthony gave him some sort of assurance about staying the course, Woodson replied: "Absolutely."
"Melo's not going anywhere. He's had his ups and downs a little bit, just like all of us have. But for the most part, lately, he's been playing extremely well. He's scoring the ball. But we're coming up a little short-handed," Woodson said. "It's going to take a total team effort to get out of this hole that we've dug."
Notes: Woodson said that Felton is day to day. "I'm sure when he's ready, he'll let us know, but right now he's not," Woodson said. ... Wizards coach Randy Wittman is not sure when first-round draft pick Otto Porter will be able to play - or even practice with his teammates. Porter has been sidelined since the start of training camp with a right hip flexor injury. He was the No. 3 overall choice in the NBA draft after being an All-American at Georgetown. "When is that day going to be when he steps on the practice court? I still don't know," Wittman said. ... The rest of New York's four-game road trip includes stops at Portland, the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver. "Nobody, thank God, is running away with it in the division," Woodson said. "If this can be a successful trip for us, we'll be right back in the race." ... Washington hosts the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.