Gortat and Beal lead Wizards past Knicks 101-87
WASHINGTON (AP) Bradley Beal has spent enough time with John Wall to know the Wizards point guard can control a game in a variety of ways.
Wall was held to six points on 3-of-13 shooting on Friday night, but had a career-high 18 assists in just three quarters as the Wizards defeated the New York Knicks 101-87.
''There's just so much that he can do,'' Beal said. ''I mean, he can score the ball, then tonight he had a thousand assists. You never know which John you're going to get. You may have a John who gets 30 rebounds tomorrow.''
Wall scored 91 points in the first three games of Washington's five-game homestand, and had 33 assists in the final two.
''Everybody on my team was just trying to tell me to get 20 (assists),'' Wall said. ''One of my goals is to get 20 (in a game). I keep falling short.''
Wall was asked if the Wizards are at their best offensively when he looks to pass first.
''Yeah, I always try to be a pass-first guy, except in certain situations I have to be aggressive and start scoring for the team,'' Wall said. ''But that's my mindset going in, to try and get everybody into a rhythm pretty early.''
Marcin Gortat led Washington with 19 points, Beal added 18, and Otto Porter, starting his second straight game, scored 17.
Reserve Ricky Ledo scored a career-high 21 points for the Knicks, who have dropped nine straight.
''It's frustrating, and mentally it's a grind,'' New York's Lou Amundson said.
Leading 59-49 early in the second half, the Wizards went on a 13-5 run capped by a steal by Porter and fast-break dunk with 4:43 left in the third. New York got no closer than within 10 points, with just 1:33 left in the game.
With a game at Memphis on Saturday, the Wizards rested Paul Pierce - for the second straight game- and Nene.
Wall started a pair of highlight-reel plays early in a 19-0 first-quarter run. First, he drove the lane and dished behind his back to Gortat for the layup. Two trips later, Wall lofted an alley-oop pass that Porter slammed home.
Washington led 30-8 after Drew Gooden and Porter (two) combined for three-straight 3-pointers.
''Our pressure defensively was really good in the first quarter. That enabled us to really jump on them,'' Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
New York shot 4 of 19 (21.1 percent) for the quarter and was outrebounded 18-5.
Ledo scored 11 points in the second quarter, Quincy Acy added 10 and New York's reserves brought them back. A 12-3 run to end the quarter cut Washington's lead to 54-46 at halftime.
''It's tough because we felt like we came back and gained momentum going into halftime,'' Ledo said.
Knicks: Were swept 4-0 in the season series. ... Cleanthony Early departed with a sprained left ankle in the first quarter and didn't return. ... Tim Hardaway Jr. (right wrist) returned after missing nine games. ... Andrea Bargnani, averaging 20.3 points over last three games coming in, finished with two points in 19 minutes.
Wizards: Have won seven straight against the Knicks. ... Finished 3-2 on homestand, and have just one home game remaining: April 12 vs. Atlanta. ... Nene has appeared in 65 games, the most he's played in a season since 2010-11. ... Beal is averaging 17.3 points over his last four games.
Rasual Butler's dunk made it 101-87 with 1.3 seconds left, putting Washington over the century mark and triggering a pizza chain discount. Knicks coach Derek Fisher responded by calling time out, delaying the game's conclusion. ''Pizza doesn't taste that great,'' Fisher said. ''It's important to play the game until it's over. We had 1.3 seconds left. The game wasn't over yet.''
TAKING NOTHING FOR GRANTED
Wittman was in no mood to downplay a win over the Knicks. ''I'm very pleased with what we did tonight,'' he said. ''We came out again aggressive. There is a lot this team is playing for, as was Philly (Wednesday). These guys are playing for their lives, contracts. They are going to play hard.''
Knicks: Host 76ers on Sunday.
Wizards: At Memphis on Saturday.