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New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYC

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New York Knicks vs. Washington Wizards: Postgame Grades and Analysis for NYC
USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks travelled to the Verizon Center on Friday night for a rematch with the Washington Wizards, coming away with a gritty 96-88 victory.

The win was up for grabs until Carmelo Anthony and Raymond Felton drained two huge shots in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. Melo finished with 30 points while Felton dropped 23.

Back on February 6, Washington beat the Knicks by 10 as John Wall went for 21 points and nine assists. New York sought payback on Friday night.

This time, Bradley Beal took the lead for the surging Wizards by scoring 29 points and grabbing 11 boards; Emeka Okafor also added a double-double. New York limited John Wall to "only" 16 points, and Trevor Ariza turned in another strong game versus the Knicks.

New York's defense was at sixes and sevens for stretches of the first half. Wall knifed through the paint for several layups, and New York got burned continuously when double-teaming players that do not deserve such respect.

Thanks in part to several missed lay-ups by the Wizards, New York led 54-48 at the half.

Washington went on a 16-2 run in the third quarter after the Knicks had opened an 11-point lead. But New York's defense clamped down in the fourth quarter as they opened the frame by scoring the first 10 points.

They outscored Washington 23-11 in the fourth to seal the victory. The Wizards were seriously hampered by their 18 turnovers and 65.5 percent free-throw shooting.

New York came into the game at 34-20, good for second place but six-and-a-half games behind the Miami Heat. The Knicks also play 18 games in the month of March, including six back-to-backs, so they have a tough road ahead.

Washington was just 18-38 but had won seven of their last 10 games. They have become unlikely giant slayers, besting the likes of the Heat, L.A. Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Here are grades for the entire Knicks roster.

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