June 13, 2024

Despite a challenging shooting night, the Knicks managed to secure the win, showcasing resilience and determination on the court.

Jalen Brunson quickly returned to the starting lineup for the Knicks, joining Donte DiVincenzo, OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, and Isaiah Hartenstein after being absent for two games.

The Knicks had a sluggish beginning, with their first three shots missing and a couple of early turnovers. However, a dunk from Hartenstein and four consecutive baskets from Randle helped them find their rhythm and take the lead.

With Josh Hart sidelined due to a knee injury, the Knicks had the opportunity to showcase some of their trade assets. Quentin Grimes was the first player off the bench, and Evan Fournier made his third appearance of the season late in the opening frame.

However, New York’s offense struggled again to close out the first quarter, shooting just 2-for-8 from beyond the arc and committing five turnovers. As a result, they found themselves tied at 22 after a low-scoring quarter. The standout performer on both ends was Randle, leading all scorers with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.

The Knicks continued to face offensive challenges in the second quarter, starting 3-for-11 from the field, which quickly led to a six-point deficit with five minutes remaining in the half. However, a few minutes later, New York managed to hit their first three-pointer of the quarter, allowing them to carry a one-point lead into the halftime break.

Despite their recent strong performances, the Knicks put together one of their sloppiest halves of the season. They shot only 38 percent from the field and 19 percent from beyond the arc while committing 10 turnovers.

Thibodeau’s halftime message seemed to resonate with the team, as back-to-back three-pointers from Anunoby and DiVincenzo extended the lead to seven to open the third quarter. However, the Wizards, led by Kyle Kuzma, remained resilient. Anunoby maintained his impressive performance, contributing 13 of his 17 points during the third quarter. Unfortunately, the Knicks’ 13th turnover of the game resulted in a Kyle Kuzma fast-break layup, and they entered the final quarter with only a one-point lead.

DiVincenzo made a significant impact for the Knicks at the beginning of the fourth quarter, hitting consecutive three-pointers and assisting Brunson for a three-point play the old-fashioned way. However, Washington responded once again. Despite the Knicks’ struggles on the offensive end, Brunson, as he has consistently done throughout the season, came through in the clutch. He scored 20 of his 41 points in the final stretch, helping the team secure the victory. This performance marked Brunson’s fourth instance of scoring 40 or more points this season and the eighth time in his career, solidifying his status as a soon-to-be All-Star.

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New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) looks to pass the ball against Washington Wizards guard Bilal Coulibaly (0) during the second quarter at Madison Square Garden / Brad Penner - USA TODAY Sports

After his impactful first quarter, Randle’s scoring slowed down, but he still delivered crucial baskets in the closing minutes to end the game with 21 points. DiVincenzo and Anunoby both made valuable contributions, scoring 19 points each and hitting a total of eight three-pointers. Despite a modest six points, Hartenstein showcased his prowess on the boards with an impressive 17 rebounds against the league’s weakest rebounding team. However, Grimes and Fournier couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity created by Hart’s absence, finishing a combined 0-for-8 from the field and contributing only two rebounds and two assists.

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