After struggling all night, Jalen Brunson hit the tiebreaking basket with 42.1 seconds remaining and the visiting New York Knicks erased a 19-point deficit en route to a 115-109 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
Julius Randle tied a career-high with 46 points on 16-of-29 shooting from the floor as the Knicks won their fourth straight game, much to the delight of many New York fans in the crowd.
Brunson was held to 13 points and shot 6-of-20 after averaging 32.5 points in his final eight games before the All-Star break. However, he answered Bradley Beal’s tying 3-pointer by hitting an off-balance layup through traffic that put New York ahead for good in a game that featured 19 lead changes.
After Brunson’s clutch hoop, Washington’s Kristaps Porzingis missed a 3-point try with 22.2 seconds left, and Randle found Mitchell Robinson for a layup with 11.2 seconds to go. After the Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma had his left foot out of bounds on a corner trey attempt with 10.7 seconds left, the Knicks iced the win at the foul line.
Immanuel Quickley added 16 points, and RJ Barrett contributed 14 for the Knicks, who shot 48.9 per cent and moved a season-high seven games over .500 by outscoring Washington 88-71 over the final three quarters.
Kuzma and Porzingis each had 23 points, with Porzingis scoring 19 of his total in Washington’s 38-point opening quarter. Beal added 16 and Delon Wright chipped in 15 off the bench for the Wizards, who shot 49.4 per cent and hit 19 3-pointers.
Porzingis went 5-for-5 from 3-point range as the Wizards shot 65 per cent and opened a 38-27 lead through the first quarter.
Consecutive treys by Wright opened a 44-29 lead with 9:27 remaining in the half, and Kuzma’s basket made it a 57-38 edge. The Knicks stormed back with a 22-7 run and scored the final 10 points of the second period to get within 64-60 by halftime on Randle’s hook shot in the final minute.
After Randle hit two free throws to give New York a 77-71 lead with 7:43 remaining in the third quarter, the Wizards ripped off a 14-2 run to take an 85-76 lead on a 3 by Monte Morris with 4:22 left in the period. New York ended the quarter with a 13-3 spurt and held an 89-88 lead after Quickley hit a 3-pointer with 10.5 seconds left.
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