Carmelo Anthony shook off the pain in his sore right hip long enough to keep the Washington Wizards winless.
Anthony made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 15 seconds left as the New York Knicks avoided a late collapse to beat the Wizards 99-96 on Friday night.
Anthony scored 37 points despite being hurt with about three minutes left when he was hit in the back. He shot 16 of 33 from the floor, including the three-pointer after Washington had taken the lead.
”I was hurt. I was just praying it went in. I wasn’t going to try to drive at all, I knew I didn’t have any push off on my right leg,” Anthony said.
The Knicks, who were roundly criticized after allowing 118 points to Charlotte on Wednesday, were entertaining and willing to tussle – and so were the Wizards.
”It was just a hard game. It’s going to be a tough year,” New York coach Mike D’Antoni said. ”Guys are going to be banged up, tired, and the strong are going to survive. You’ve just got to tough it out.”
Amare Stoudemire added 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 15 boards in the Knicks’ seventh straight victory over the Wizards.
New York, which had lost four of five, trailed by 15 points early in the second quarter before Anthony and Stoudemire went to work. They scored 22 of the Knicks’ 24 points in the quarter.
Nick Young scored 24 points and John Wall had 22 points and nine assists in the closest loss during the worst start in franchise history.
New York led 95-87 with 3:32 to play, but Wall made a layup with 40 seconds left for a 96-95 Washington lead.
After Anthony’s 3-pointer, New York called time. Wall missed a 3-pointer with seven seconds left, and after an offensive rebound, Chris Singleton missed a jumper. The Knicks’ Iman Shumpert missed the second of two free throws, and the Knicks led 99-96 with 2.8 seconds to play. Young missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
”We’re a long ways from being any good, but we have the spirit and we are fighting,” D’Antoni said.
Washington had lost its first six by an average of 13.1 points, with the closest being six points.
The Wizards had 23 turnovers. New York had 20.
Before the game, Washington coach Flip Saunders referred to the game as a ”must play well.”
His team played well – for a quarter – leading 32-18 after one. Washington shot 58.3 percent – nearly 20 percent over its season average. Young and Wall combined for 22 points.
”We played hard. We played with good energy,” Saunders said.
The 32 points were the most Washington scored in any quarter this season and they temporarily enjoyed their first double-digit lead since the second quarter of their first game.
”It caught us by surprise – how fast they were playing early in the game,” Anthony said.
Saunders’ biggest complaint was with the referees. On Tuesday, Saunders was ejected from a game in Boston in the first two minutes. Early in the fourth quarter, New York’s Josh Harrellson was credited with a dunk when Saunders thought he should have been called for offensive interference.
”When things are going bad, you can’t get a call,” Saunders said. ”That offensive goaltending was a terrible call that they missed.”
Singleton and Trevor Booker gave the Wizards some muscle and needed scoring – combining for 20 points and 14 rebounds.
”We actually hit them first instead of them hitting us first. Usually, the other team hits us first,” Booker said.
In the second, with Anthony and Stoudemire dominating, the Knicks cut the Wizards’ lead to 47-46 at halftime. The Knicks scored the final nine points of the half and trailed only because Anthony missed a jumper a few seconds before the half.
Anthony had 13 in the second quarter. Stoudemire had 11.
Young and Wall each missed all four shots from the field they took in a combined 19 minutes in the quarter. Washington committed nine turnovers in the quarter.
In the third quarter, New York took a 66-57 lead with 4:56 to play, but Washington scored nine straight points to tie it at 66-all. The Knicks led 72-69 after three.
NOTES: D’Antoni kept Toney Douglas and Landry Fields as his starting backcourt. For now, Shumpert, a rookie, will keep coming off the bench. … Washington rookie F Jan Vesely, who missed the first six games with a sore right hip, was active for the first time. He did not play. … Wizards C/F Ronny Turiaf walked around with a cast on his broken left hand, but he declined comment on the injury suffered on Jan. 1.