December 24, 2019 / 3:01 AM / a month ago

Beal leads short-handed Wizards past Knicks

EditorsNote: Clarifies Wizards’ player availability in graf 2; other minor edits

Dec 23, 2019; New York, New York, USA; Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) shoots during warmups prior to the game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Beal scored 30 points as a depleted group of Washington Wizards nearly blew a 17-point lead down the stretch and held on for a 121-115 victory over the host New York Knicks on Monday night.

The Wizards beat the Knicks for the 19th time in the past 22 meetings. Washington also snapped a three-game losing streak and won for only the fourth time in its last 16 games overall while having only nine available players before signing Gary Payton II on Monday. Injuries and a two-game suspension to Isaiah Thomas for going into the stands during the fourth quarter in Philadelphia to confront a heckler on Saturday left the roster thin.

The Wizards were also missing rookie Rui Hachimura (groin injury), Davis Bertans (strained right quad) and Thomas Bryant (sore right foot) but provided Beal with enough help from a group of seldom-used players.

Beal shot 13 of 38 from the field, setting a career-high for field-goal attempts as the Wizards shot 47 percent and survived being outscored 16-5 in the final 4:40.

Troy Brown Jr. added a career-high 26 as the Wizards overcame a 13-point first-quarter deficit. Ish Smith contributed 17, Anzejs Pasecniks added 14 in his fourth career game while Payton filled up the box score with 10 points, 11 rebounds, six steals and five assists.

The Wizards held a 94-91 lead on Brown’s buzzer-beater jumper entering the fourth and appeared to clinch their latest win over the Knicks early in the fourth. They took a 107-97 lead on a 3-pointer by Payton with 8:04 left and held a 116-99 edge on two free throws by Brown with 4:40 remaining.

New York stormed back and was within 118-115 on Julius Randle’s layup with 48.1 seconds remaining and Washington was called for a shot-clock violation on Washington’s next possession. Following a timeout, Elfrid Payton missed a 3-pointer, Mitchell Robinson got the rebound and the ball slipped out of his hands.

With 9.8 seconds left, Brown split a pair at the line for a 119-115 lead. After New York called its last timeout, Damyean Dotson missed a 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds left and Brown iced the game by hitting two free throws with 4.2 seconds left.

The Knicks lost their third straight game and fell to 3-6 under interim coach Mike Miller. New York played without two starters as Marcus Morris (sore left Achilles) and Taj Gibson (illness) sat out.

Randle led the Knicks with a season-high 35 points. Dotson added 19 points and rookie RJ Barrett added 18 points as New York shot 47.3 percent.

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