Burke, Lee lead Knicks to 101-97 victory over Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) With the Washington Wizards still waiting for John Wall to return, they were beaten by the perennial All-Star’s former backup.
Burke shot 8 of 15 from the floor and put the Knicks up for good by converting a three-point play inside the final minute – against a Wizards team for which he came off the bench for last season.
”I don’t want to make it about me,” Burke said. ”We won the game, and that’s the biggest thing.”
Bradley Beal scored 14 points, but shot just 5 of 17 for Washington, which has lost three straight for just the second time this season.
”I felt like we didn’t give a (darn), honestly,” Beal said. ”We just thought it was going to be a cakewalk and they smacked us in the mouth.”
Both three-game skids have come later in Wall’s 26-game absence as he recovers from left knee surgery. Wall returned to full-contact practice on Saturday.
Otto Porter added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who remain in sixth in the Eastern Conference despite dropping eight of their last 12.
”We’re struggling scoring the ball right now,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said after his team shot 42.5 percent (37 of 87) from the floor. ”Missing a lot of easy shots. Layups, tip-ins, dunks. Those are things you have to make.”
Courtney Lee added eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, and Enes Kanter had 11 points and 10 rebounds for New York, which won for a third time in five games. Before that, the Knicks had lost 18 of 19 to fall out of playoff contention.
Washington trailed by as many as 12 after giving up 42 points to New York in the second quarter, the most the Knicks had scored in any quarter this season.
The Wizards cut it to two in the third and one in the fourth before Beal’s 3-pointer from the wing tied it at 88-all with 4:25 to play. Beal later fed Markieff Morris for a leaner that gave Washington a 95-94 lead with 1:08 remaining.
Burke responded by hitting a tough runner in the lane, absorbing Kelly Oubre’s foul and converting a three-point play to make it 97-95.
”I didn’t see no helpside man, that’s the only reason why I attacked,” Burke said. ”I wanted to get a good shot. That was the best shot.”
Said Brooks: ”We can’t foul in that situation. Cannot do it.”
Beal missed a tough turnaround and Marcin Gortat missed on the follow on Washington’s next possession, and the Knicks hit four of six free throws to seal it.
Knicks: Burke’s last NBA start came on March 25, 2015, in his second of three seasons with Utah. … F Damyean Dotson (foot) and G Kyle O’Quinn (hip) were out, but F Lance Thomas returned from a personal absence
Wizards: Wall showed no ill effects Sunday after participating in his first full-contact practice on Saturday, Brooks said. Brooks still hasn’t given a timetable for Wall’s return. … Washington is 15-11 during Wall’s extended absence.
MAKING A CHANGE
Burke took the starting point guard duties from Emmanuel Mudiay, who had made 14 starts since arriving in New York from Denver last month in a three-way deal at the trade deadline.
”I think we all knew that we wanted to take a look at him — that’s why we traded for him,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said of Mudiay. ”Maybe after the fact, we put him in a tough situation. But then some guys can pop in there and go right to it.”
New York’s second quarter marked its second-highest scoring quarter of the past five seasons. The highest also came in Washington, when the Knicks scored 47 in the fourth period of a 119-112 loss to the Wizards on Nov. 17, 2016.
Knicks: Continue their road trip Monday in Charlotte.
Wizards: Finish a three-game homestand Tuesday against San Antonio.