Wizards Lose in Home Debut
Charles E. Sutton | 10/14/2012, 7:47 p.m.
On Thursday night at Verizon Center, the Washington Wizards had reasons to be encouraged and discouraged by the 108-101 preseason loss to the New York Knicks. Washington committed fewer fouls than it did in its opener but gave up 18 three-pointers on 33 attempts (54.5 percent). Rookie guard Bradley Beal finished with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench. However, 12 of those points came in the second quarter, and the other three points came late in the game, once it had already been decided.
Shooting guard Jordan Crawford had 17 points to lead the Wizards (0-2), while Steve Novak had 21 and J.R. Smith had 20 for the Knicks (1-0).
The 19-year-old Beal was matched up against 39-year-old Knicks guard Jason Kidd, who is starting his 19th season in the league. Soon after Beal entered the game, the first period ended with the Wizards having allowed 38 points.
The one-and-done player from Florida knocked down a 20-foot jump shot for his first points but showed significant strength and versatility. He drove to the basket with confidence, drawing contact and converting six of seven free throws. Leading the second unit with Chris Singleton and Martell Webster, Beal and the Wizards went on a 22-0 run and held the Knicks scoreless for the first seven and a half minutes of the second quarter en route to a 56-53 halftime lead.
Washington's starting lineup held its own in the third quarter before Beal's group was undone in the fourth.
Verizon Center wasn't even half full because the Nationals were involved in a playoff game across town.
Crawford hit a step back 3-pointer for an early 9-5 lead, but the Knicks responded with a 16-2 run that included 3-pointers from Carmelo Anthony (17 points), Kidd and Smith. Kurt Thomas, starting in place of the injured Amar'e Stoudemire, forced a reluctant Kevin Seraphin (10 points, four rebounds) into a turnover and then hit a 16-footer at the other end. Anthony had 12 points in the period, and the Knicks hit six 3-pointers for a 38-21 lead.
Coming off a bout of food poisoning, newly acquired center Emeka Okafor missed his second straight chance to make his Wizards debut. John Wall (left patella tendon) also joined Nene (left foot plantar fasciitis) and Trevor Booker (left hamstring strain) among the injured. The Wizards are now scheduled to play six consecutive road games to wrap up the preseason.