Walker and the Knicks drop first matchup of the season against the Washington Wizards, 124-117. Kemba Walker led the Knicks with 44 points in 43 minutes. While Wizards’ Spencer Dinwiddle came up clutch with 21 points to get win against Walker and the Knicks.
Kemba Walker Is Back
All NBA and Knicks fans can agree that they need Walker if they want a shot at making the playoffs or making the play in a tournament. The Knicks were still in the game because Walker dropped season-high 44 points, including 23 points in the second quarter. But their defense couldn’t handle the Wizards. Since returning to the rotation, Walker has been averaging 25 points, four assists, and seven rebounds. Also, Walker, the offense issue should be gone now, but playing defense with Walker in the lineup will have to be figured out soon. Walker, during the game, felt “motivated” when the Wizards got iso’s against him, and still Walker got some stops. Walker finished the first half with 28 points, including a floater at the last second, to get a seven-point lead at halftime.
Wizards Can Win Without Beal
For possibly the next ten days, Bradley Beal will not be active because of entering the NBA’s protocols. All starters for the Wizards scored double-digits, including Kuzma with 18 points, rookie Kispert with 20 points, Gafford with 11 points, Holiday with 16 points, and the leading scorer with the Wizards being Dinwiddie with 21 points. The bench provided 38 points, including Montrezl Harrell with 15 points and four rebounds.
Wizards Take Demand of Game
Entering the second half, New York held the lead by six. Walker scored 13 points in the third quarter, but nobody else scored except for Randle with 6 points and Burks with 3 points. The rest of the Knicks team shot only two shots, which came from Fournier. In contrast, the Wizards starters outscored the Knicks in the third quarter, 28-22. The Knicks last led in the game at the nine-minute mark in the third quarter.
Knicks Can’t Find Answers in Fourth
The Knicks and Wizards in the fourth went back-and-forth in the fourth quarter. But the Knicks couldn’t find a way to get the lead. Fournier made a three-point shot with two and half minutes remaining to bring the Wizards’ lead down to two. The Wizards responded with a 9-4 run to finish the game, including two three-pointers made by Kyle Kuzma to push the lead eight. Kuzma had 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. Walker and Burks combined for two for 12 from the field in the fourth quarter. Randle got the most points in the fourth quarter for the Knicks with nine points.
Same Problem As Usual
Defense in the fourth quarter has been one of the main reasons for being at the bottom half of the Eastern Conference standings at the moment. But with no Derrick Rose for the next month and no R.J. Barrett for now, they must lean on Walker to play like he did tonight.
Can Wizards Win Without Beal For Ten Days?
In the next two days, the Wizards will face teams at .500 or above .500. That includes the 76ers, Heat Cavaliers, and Bulls. The good news is that three out of their next four games are at home. The Wizards can use their depth and chemistry to win at least one.
New York will get ready to be the first game of the day on Christmas morning against Atlanta.
Washington will go back home and take on Philadelphia on Sunday.
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