Pregame: 5 Things to Know - Knicks Continue Road Trip Against Red-Hot Wizards
1. Sunday’s matinee turned into an evening affair as the Knicks and Hawks engaged in an epic quadruple overtime battle. For the second time since 1951, New York participated in a four-overtime game as Carmelo Anthony dropped a season-high 45 points before fouling out in the second extra session. Atlanta eventually outlasted the Knicks in four overtimes behind Paul Millsap’s 37 points while capturing the season series 3-1.
2. Derrick Rose missed his second straight contest on Sunday afternoon due to a sprained left ankle. The Knicks point guard will not suit up for tonight’s game in Washington and head coach Jeff Hornacek said he is doubtful for Wednesday’s contest in Brooklyn.
3. Anthony is in the midst of a hot streak over his last five outings. In those five games, Anthony is averaging 30 points on 47.5 percent shooting from the floor, an impressive 40.6 percent behind the arc, and 7.4 boards.
4. The Wizards are on fire of late with the Eastern Conference’s best record since Dec. 1 at 21-9 to go along with 11 wins in their last 13 games. Washington has also racked up 14 straight home wins during the most significant turnaround from a team this season. John Wall is enjoying a career year by averaging 22.9 points and 10.3 assists per game, which has led to a spot in the February All-Star game. While Wall is the focal point of the attack, the Wizards role players are contributing to the recent success. Otto Porter Jr. leads the NBA in 3-point shooting at 46.8 percent, Marcin Gortat has 26 double-doubles this year, and Markieef Morris is averaging 14.1 points per game. Washington currently sits in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings, just a half-game behind the Hawks and five back from the defending champs.
5. On November 17, the Knicks registered a remarkable 47-point fourth quarter but the late rally fell short in a 119-112 defeat in D.C. Just 11 days ago, the two teams squared off in the second meeting, which resulted in a narrow 113-110 victory for the Wizards. Wall posted 29 points and 13 assists and Porter Jr. drilled six 3-pointers in the win. Anthony recorded 34 and once again, the Knicks were strong in the final period by outscoring Washington 24-13 at MSG. With the Wizards owning a 2-0 series lead, the teams will battle tonight and the final matchup of the season is set for April 6 in New York.
by Jonah Ballow