NEW YORK (AP) — The Wizards blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead against the New York Knicks, losing 113-110 Sunday night to snap a nine-game win streak at Madison Square Garden.
The Knicks (16-64) narrowly avoided matching their franchise record for losses in a season and have two games remaining.
“There’s no quitters in this locker room, in this organization, and we’re just showing we have a great chemistry going around and it resulted in a win,” guard Mario Hezonja said. “So we’re not paying attention to standings or whatever it is. We just treat it as a development year and hopefully it results in something big next year.”
Hezonja scored a career-high 30 points and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 44 seconds left. Luke Kornet added 17 points, Kevin Knox had 16 and Dennis Smith Jr. came off the bench for 15 despite battling back pain that had kept him out of the previous three games.
Jeff Green had 19 points and Thomas Bryant scored 17 for the Wizards (32-49), who need to beat Boston on Tuesday in their final game to avoid a 50-loss season.
Hezonja’s 3-pointer made it 111-110, and the Knicks got the ball back when Sam Dekker lost it out of bounds. Hezonja hit two free throws for the final margin.
“They got hot. They made some tough shots. Mario made a big 3,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “We fouled at the end and we couldn’t make a shot.”
Washington led 56-52 at halftime but New York took a 68-67 lead on Hezonja’s follow shot with 7:41 remaining in the third. The Wizards ran off the next 13 points to go ahead 80-68 on Bobby Portis’ 3-pointer about three minutes later, and they took an 89-79 lead to the fourth.
New York made its first five 3s in the final quarter and charged back to take a 106-103 lead on Mitchell Robinson’s free throws with 2:20 to play.
Wizards: Bradley Beal scored 13 points, going 5 of 17 and landing hard after a dunk in the first half. … Jordan McRae sat out with a sore left Achilles tendon.
Knicks: Robinson had 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. … Fizdale isn’t sure if guards Allonzo Trier (left calf) and Kadeem Allen (concussion) will return this season.
Brooks said it’s hard not to look at the Eastern Conference, where a winning record wasn’t required to secure a playoff berth, and think the Wizards should’ve been there.
“Every year you go down, ‘OK, we came up short on that game, we should’ve won that game.’ You can list off a bunch of games. I’ve always done that. When we won 60 games in OKC we did the same thing,” Brooks said.
“There’s definitely opportunity the way the East is this year. There might be three teams right at .500 — 6, 7, 8. But can’t worry about that now. We’ve got to move forward and during a tough season a lot of good things happened.”
NO PROBLEM, HOUSTON
Fizdale wasn’t concerned with Rockets starters leaving the bench before the Knicks’ loss in Houston had ended on Friday, saying he didn’t know their reasons for doing so and didn’t need them to explain it to him.
“I’ve got a game today,” he said. “I’ve got the Wizards.”
Wizards: Host Boston on Tuesday.
Knicks: Visit Chicago on Tuesday.
WTOP’s Rob Woodfork contributed to this report.
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