Published January 30, 2010
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Wizards have had one issue with Mike Miller this season: He's been too unselfish. That wasn't the case on Saturday night.
Miller scored a season-high 25 points — including 17 in the third quarter and seven 3-pointers as the Wizards beat the New York Knicks 106-96.
It was a night for superlatives for Washington, which earned its fourth two-game winning streak, but has yet to win three in a row. Antawn Jamison had 21 points and a career-high 23 rebounds; the team had a season-high 59 rebounds and equaled a high with 11 3-pointers.
Miller, who missed 26 games due to injuries this season, had four 3-pointers late in the third quarter and early in the fourth as the Wizards took an 85-73 lead with 10:45 to play in the fourth quarter.
"I'm going to pick my spots. It's me picking my spots," Miller said. "I decided to become a little more aggressive."
With the Knicks not playing man-to-man defense, Miller's eyes lit up.
"I had the ball popping out to me," Miller said. "They were in a zone, which is a dream for a shooter."
Jamison admitted Miller often frustrates him, and he tells him so.
"This is one guy who wants to move the ball, but we need you to really be aggressive," Jamison said. "He did a great job not thinking and going out there and shooting."
With 23 rebounds, two more than his previous high, Jamison should have been totally pleased. He wasn't. He missed 16 of his 26 shots, but had 11 offensive rebounds.
"It was good to get them, but bad that I missed so many (shots)," Jamison said.
On Friday, Washington had a two-point win over the New Jersey Nets despite all five of its starters failing to score in double figures for the first time since Dec. 27, 2001.
Miller, who was acquired in a trade with Minnesota in June, missed 19 games with a strained right calf, was one 3-pointer away from the franchise high.
New York coach Mike D'Antoni said he felt compelled to use a zone after Washington raced to a 36-19 first quarter lead — its largest margin after one quarter this season, grabbing 18 rebounds.
"You roll the dice a little bit, and this time it got us," D'Antoni said. "I just didn't have a good feeling about us guarding them man-to-man."
The Wizards were outscored 25-14 in the second quarter when they missed 18 of their 24 shots.
Danilo Gallinari and Jared Jeffries hit 3-pointers to tie the game at 50 to start the second half. A 12-1 Washington run gave the Wizards a 64-53 lead, and then Miller went to work and Washington ended its four-game losing streak at home.
It's been a roller-coaster week for the Knicks, who've lost four of their last five. Last Sunday, they suffered their worst home loss in history, a 50-point embarrassment to Dallas. They followed it with a 27-point win over Minnesota and a two-point loss to Toronto.
David Lee, who found out this week he didn't make the All-Star team, led the Knicks with 24 points. He scored the last 12 points for the Knicks in the third quarter, but failed to record a double-double for the first time in his past eight games. Jeffries, who had a cortisone shot on his ailing right knee had 17 points.
NOTES: Knicks F Al Harrington, the team's second-leading scorer, did not play due to a sore left knee. He said he won't play Sunday in Minnesota, either ... New York G Larry Hughes, a former teammate of the suspended Gilbert Arenas, thinks that Arenas will again play in Washington. "When things go bad, you always get mad at the authority, but I think it will blow over. I think he'll be back here." ... Miller also recorded a season high with eight assists. ... A fan wore an Arenas jersey with "GIL-TY" taped above Arenas' name. ... The Wizards offered fans who bought tickets for Saturday's game, but couldn't attend because of snow the opportunity to exchange it for the Feb. 6 game against Atlanta. An announced crowd of 16,233 was on hand. "The thing I was most surprised with was the crowd," coach Flip Saunders said. "I thought we'd have no one here."
(This version CORRECTS Wizards 106, Knicks 96. Optional. corrects to left knee in Notes.)