Carmelo Anthony picked the worst possible time to have one of his worst games of the season.
Anthony, who injured his right shoulder in the first half, had a season-high nine turnovers, missed nine of 14 shots and let the ball slip out of his hands with the game in the balance, as the Washington Wizards snuck out of Madison Square Garden with a 90-89 win Friday night.
The loss dropped the Knicks (33-44) a game behind the Atlanta Hawks (33-42) in the race for eighth in the East and two games in the loss column. Atlanta beat the Cleveland Cavaliers by 19 at home on Friday.
Anthony was diagnosed with a strained shoulder after the game. An X-ray came back negative, according to the Knicks. Anthony said he expects to play Sunday.
As far as the playoff race goes, four of the Hawks' final seven games are against teams with sub-.500 records.
More troubling for the Knicks' playoff chances? The Hawks own the tiebreaker based on conference record.
Bruised by Beal: Once again, the Knicks can blame Bradley Beal for stealing a win away from them at the Garden.
Raymond Felton had knocked down a 3-pointer with 33 seconds to play to give the Knicks a one-point lead, but then Beal knocked down a jumper with 23 seconds left to put the Wizards up one.
Beal also hit a layup with less than 10 seconds to play to give Washington a win at MSG in early December.
Anthony scored just 10 points on 5-for-14 shooting, and his turnovers crushed the Knicks. J.R. Smith led New York with 32 points -- hitting eight of 16 3-pointers -- but he also made a costly defensive mistake late in the game.
Off when it counted: Anthony had a chance to win the game in the waning seconds, but as he tried to get a shot up, the ball slipped out of his hands. It was the end of a frustrating night for the Knicks star.
Smith had a fantastic night, but missed a last-second attempt from beyond the arc after the ball slipped out of Anthony's hand.
John Wall had 19 points and eight assists for the Wizards. Beal finished with 28 points on 12-for-22 shooting.
Amar'e, Marcin go head to head: Amar'e Stoudemire turned back the clock to his Phoenix days in the third quarter -- he dunked on Marcin Gortat via a feed from Anthony. Prior to that sequence, Stoudemire blocked a Gortat dunk attempt, and Gortat dunked on Stoudemire.
Stoudemire finished with 16 points in 30 minutes but was off the floor for several key stretches in the fourth quarter. The Knicks were outscored 38-22 in the paint.
What’s next: The Knicks will host the Miami Heat on Sunday.
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