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Monday, December 16, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Wizards 102, Knicks 101

By Ian Begley

NEW YORK -- The Knicks just keep finding new ways to lose.

New York coughed up a one-point lead with under 10 seconds to play Monday night thanks to Washington's Bradley Beal, who knocked down what turned out to be a game-winning layup with 6.9 seconds to play in the Wizards' 102-101 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Down one, the Knicks had three timeouts remaining but surprisingly didn't use one to set up a play.

Instead, Carmelo Anthony took a running 3-pointer off one foot that missed at the buzzer.

The Knicks are 7-17 and in fourth place in the Atlantic Division. This latest loss has to hurt more than some others, because New York seemed to have the game won late in the fourth.

Couldn't close: J.R. Smith's 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 16 seconds left in the game gave the Knicks a four-point lead. But Beal hit two 3s in the next 1:31 to tie the game at 100, then delivered the winning layup on Washington's final possession.

Beal torched the Knicks for 21 points on 9-for-16 shooting, including 14 in the fourth. Martell Webster came off the bench to score a back-breaking 30 points on 9-for-13 shooting. Webster was sensational from beyond the arc, hitting 6 of 8 3s.

John Wall had 20 points but turned the ball over seven times and nearly gave the game away for Washington.

J.R. lives: One positive for the Knicks? Smith finally resembled the guy that the Knicks signed to an $18 million contract in the offseason.

Two days after being benched in the fourth quarter and three days after taking just one shot in 24 minutes, Smith poured in 18 points on 6-for-16 shooting and added six assists.

Smith hit two big 3-pointers in the third quarter to help the Knicks erase a 15-point deficit.

He added two more 3s in the fourth quarter to give the Knicks a cushion they couldn't maintain.

Anthony had 32 points on 12-for-20 shooting. Beno Udrih had a strong floor game in place of the injured Pablo Prigioni, with 12 points and five assists. But he missed a free throw with 24 seconds to go that would have put the Knicks up two, and Beal drove past him for the winner.

Pablo breaks toe: The Knicks will be without Prigioni for at least two weeks. The point guard broke his toe in the third quarter against Washington on what appeared to be a non-contact play.

With Raymond Felton out, the Knicks are extremely thin at point guard. They talked to Toronto last week about a possible trade for Kyle Lowry. According to sources, talks stalled in recent days because of the Raptors' high asking price.

It will be interesting to see if Prigioni's injury forces the Knicks to make a move.

What's next: The Knicks will practice Tuesday to prepare for Wednesday's game at Milwaukee.

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