Beal’s jumper, Anthony’s miscues help Wizards win
NEW YORK (AP) Carmelo Anthony kept losing the ball all night long, and now the New York Knicks have lost their hold on eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Anthony committed nine turnovers and Bradley Beal made another big shot at Madison Square Garden, a go-ahead jumper over Tyson Chandler with 6.9 seconds left as the Washington Wizards beat the Knicks 90-89 on Friday night.
Beal’s jumper quieted the Garden crowd just as he did back on Dec. 16, when he beat the Knicks for a go-ahead layup.
”It’s pretty cool, I guess”, Washington’s second-year guard said. ”For them to go silent, that’s kind of, `Wow’.”
John Wall, who added 19 points, combined with Beal for Washington’s final 12 to dampen New York’s playoffs hopes.
Anthony was favoring an ailing right shoulder he said he initially banged up during the win against Brooklyn on Wednesday. He felt it go out during the first half but decided to keep playing.
He lost control of the ball as he tried to go left into the lane on New York’s last possession, but J.R. Smith, who as of late has recaptured the form that earned him last year’s Sixth Man of the Year award, recovered it but missed a potential winning 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left.
Smith finished with a season-high 32 points.
”I felt like I lost the ball,” Anthony said.
”It was a tough loss, man. I wish I could have did better and played better. For the most part I thought my teammates did what they had to do. J.R. had a phenomenal game. I wish I could have rewarded that.”
The Knicks announced after the game that Anthony strained his right shoulder but X-rays were negative. He said he expects to play Sunday against the Miami Heat.
New York dropped out of the final playoff position just two nights after moving into it by beating the Nets. Struggling Atlanta went back ahead by one game after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier Friday.
Smith would have liked to have had the chance to take the initial shot.
”Yeah, no matter who that is, I always want the last shot. It’s something I’ve never been shy about”, Smith said.
Anthony, held to 10 points, made a jumper to cut the Wizards’ lead to 88-86 lead with 1:33 remaining. After Wall missed a long shot in front of the arc at the top of the key, Anthony tried to connect with Tim Hardaway Jr., who was open near the Washington bench for a 3, but Martell Webster intercepted Anthony’s pass.
The Knicks got the ball back after Wall lost control of it as he drove to the basket. With 33.5 seconds left, Anthony then found an open Raymond Felton for a 3-pointer to give the Knicks an 89-86 lead, but Beal answered with his jumper over Chandler, who had come out to help.
It was the second straight win for Washington, which clinched its first playoff since 2008 on Wednesday.
”Our defense was pretty good but Trevor’s (Ariza) defense on Carmelo was outstanding”, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
”Trevor fought and fought him. At the end we decided to trap him and make someone else beat us.”
The Knicks couldn’t and now they will face a tough challenge Sunday when they travel to face the Miami Heat, who have already beaten them twice this season.
The Knicks have five remaining games, three on the road, against three teams that are all playoff-bound in the East.
New York can’t afford to have its leading scorer out.
”Well I knew it was bothering him, but you know we’ve got to have Melo on the floor,” Woodson said.
”Again, it was a hard-fought game. Our guys came up defeated, so now we have to figure out how we’re going to get it back because … Atlanta won tonight.”
Notes: Former Buffalo Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly attended the game with his family. Kelly, who is battling his second bought with cancer, will undergo treatment next week at a hospital in the city. … Before the game, the Knicks honored Anthony with a plaque to celebrate his 62-point, Madison Square Garden record, set Jan. 24.