WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards beat the New York Knicks 122-115 on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. Here are five takeaways from what went down...
1. On nights like Tuesday, when he is quite easily the best player on the floor, Bradley Beal has the ability to take over games all by himself and impose his will on an opposing team. Against the Knicks, he came out of halftime on a mission and absolutely pummeled New York's hapless defense.
Beal had 20 of his 39 points in the third quarter alone and helped the Wizards outscore the Knicks by 16 points in the frame. They kept that momentum going in the fourth and ran away with the win.
Davis Bertans chipped in with 11 points, including his 200th three of the season. He is just the third player in franchise history to reach that mark, joining Beal and Arenas.
Shabazz Napier was also a standout with 21 points. He added six assists.
The Wizards have now won two of three and are 4-4 in their last eight games. After a rough start coming out of the All-Star break, things have stabilized right as the schedule is set to get much tougher. Up next is a road game at the Celtics and after that await the Thunder and Sixers.
2. The Wizards appeared to be en route to a blowout win in the first quarter when they went up 18-4, forcing two timeouts by Knicks coach Mike Miller as he aimed to shift the momentum. But then Bobby Portis went to work and began putting together a classic revenge game.
Portis went off for 14 points in the first quarter in just eight minutes and on 6-of-8 shooting. That helped spark a game-changing run for the Knicks, who closed the half with a 16-point lead. After they went down 18-4, they outscored the Wizards 66-36 in the final 20 minutes of the half.
Portis didn't play in Washington long, just from the trade deadline of to the end of the 2018-19 season, but he has now twice hurt them in rematches. He dropped 17 points in a Knicks win back in December and in this one had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Portis was feeling himself, too. There was plenty of strutting and flexing on the way back down the court after some of his buckets.
3. Rui Hachimura had himself a nice bounce-back game after scoring just three points on 0-for-14 shooting in his previous two outings. He got his first basket just 15 seconds into the first quarter.
Hachimura got going early the way he has many times so far in his professional career, by attacking the rim. He was very aggressive off the dribble and it helped him get into a rhythm.
Hachimura had 12 points and seven rebounds.
4. The Wizards' rotation is going to be fluid for the rest of the season and we saw a good example of that in this game. Head coach Scott Brooks got creative with his lineups, using Gary Payton II more than usual and keeping Garrison Mathews in the mix despite depth at his position.
Payton II was summoned clearly to light a spark defensively. He is the team's scrappiest perimeter defender and has the ability to change the tone of a game with his hustle and athleticism.
Payton II did just that against the Knicks. It was the type of game that makes you wonder why the Wizards don't use him more often in those scenarios.
5. Mathews was in there despite Jerome Robinson returning to the lineup. Robinson missed Sunday's game against the Heat with soreness in his left Achilles and was a gametime decision against the Knicks.
Anzejs Pasecniks also returned from an injury. His problem was neck stiffness.
Isaac Bonga, however, was not available due to a groin contusion. There is some irony there, of course, as he was the one who accidentally gave Hachimura a serious groin injury earlier this season with an inadvertent kick.
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