Knicks survive Bradley Beal-less Wizards, move up to solo 6th

Jalen Brunson, Kristaps Porzingis, New York Knicks
Jan 13, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) shakes hands with Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis (6) after their game at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Brunson had his 12th career 30-point game, while Julius Randle finished with another monster double-double as the New York Knicks held on to a 112-108 win Friday night at the Capital Arena in the nation’s capital.

Brunson was clutch anew, draining four straight free throws in the last 13.9 seconds to finish off the Bradley Beal-less Wizards. The Knicks’ rising star guard finished with 34 points, his ninth 30-point game this season and fourth over his last five games. He also dished out a game-high eight assists as he continues blossoming into an All-Star caliber guard.

Randle added 23 and 16 rebounds for his 25th double-double this season. His monster slam over Wizards center Daniel Gafford in the third quarter deserves a dunk of the year consideration.

With Beal still sidelined by a hamstring injury, Kyle Kuzma carried the Wizards with a 40-point effort. Former Knick Kristaps Porzingis, who was candid he misses New York before the game, had 21 points, 12 in the fourth quarter.

The Knicks had to survive another frenetic rally as the Wizards pulled within three twice inside the final minute after being down by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter, and 11 with 2:15 left.

Randle and Brunson delivered the buckets that served as a cushion for the Knicks. With the Indiana Pacers losing to Atlanta Hawks, 113-111, the Knicks are now sitting solo sixth in the Eastern Conference after their second straight win to improve to 24-19.

Immanuel Quickley had another sensational performance, this time in front of his family and friends. The Maryland native scored 18 points off the bench, with his three-point play at the 8:30 mark of the fourth quarter giving the Knicks their largest lead, 94-79.

They were moving without the ball with precise cutting and sharing the leather during their 14-0 run at the onset of the fourth quarter.

“That’s what we try to do. Like I said, get better. We try to play together. I think our unit is starting to gel together a little bit. We gained a little rhythm. So we just got to keep it going.”

Immanuel Quickley postgame via MSG Network

The Knicks have won 13 of their last 19 games to crack the East’s top six.

They have another great opportunity to keep piling up wins when they visit the lowly Detroit Pistons on Sunday. The Knicks have won their last 11 meetings, including three wins this season by an average margin of 21 points.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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