It wasn’t exactly the matchup of stars that maybe fans wanted to see, but the Knicks preseason schedule tipped off nonetheless.
The likes of Amar’e Stoudemire (knee), Iman Shumpert (knee), Marcus Camby (calf), Chris Smith (knee), Rasheed Wallace (conditioning) and Ronnie Brewer were out of the Knicks lineup, while stars such as John Wall (knee) and Nene (foot) and Trevor Booker (hamstring) were among those sitting out for the Wizards.
But when the ball was thrown up, it didn’t really matter because it was good to see the new look Knicks on the court against another team. With all the hype surrounding the Knicks coming in, they opened some eyes with a blazing hot start en route to a 108-101 win.
New York shot 70 percent from the floor and knocked down 6-of-8 three-point shots- including a 3-for-3 start for Steve Novak- and opened up a 38-21 lead after one, behind 12 points from Carmelo Anthony.
But that all changed quickly in the second quarter as the Wizards’ bench dominated the Knicks’ bench, scoring the first 22 points of the quarter to take a 43-39 lead. The Knicks didn’t scorer their first points of the quarter until 4:20 left when Novak knocked down a three. Before it was all said and done, Washington outscored the Knicks 35-15 in the quarter. Rookie Bradley Beal paced the Wizards with 12 points off the bench to give the Wizards a 56-53 halftime lead.
The Knicks’ starters and regular rotation guys came out in third quarter and had similar success to what they had in the first and outscored the Wizards 29-24 in the third quarter to take an 82-80 lead.
Things stayed relatively tight in the fourth until Novak broke it open with a couple more bombs from behind the arc. Novak finished with a team-highs of 32 minutes played and 21 points, knocking down all seven of his attempts from behind the arc.
In addition to Novak, four other Knicks scored in double figures: J.R. Smith (20), Anthony (17), Pablo Prigioni (14) and Tyson Chandler (13).
On the night the Knicks shot 47.4 percent from the floor (34-for-72) and a whopping 54.5 (18-of-33) percent from long-range.
However they were outrebounded 45-32 and turned the ball over 15 times. They did dish out 26 assists on the night with Raymond Felton leading the team with eight and Smith recording six.
Jordan Crawford led the Wizards in scoring with 17 and the rookie Beal was one of three other Washington players in double-figures with 15.
The Knicks next preseason game is Saturday against the Boston Celtics.
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