Published April 12, 2010
NEW YORK (AP) — Danilo Gallinari scored all of his 24 points in the second half, David Lee had 26 and the New York Knicks rallied for a 114-103 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night in their final home game of the season.
Sergio Rodriguez added all of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, sparking the key spurt midway through the period, as the Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak. Toney Douglas scored 16 and Chris Duhon 14.
Lee shot 12 of 18 in what could have been his final home game with the Knicks, but he was on the bench in the fourth quarter, when New York made 10 of its first 14 shots and surged ahead after trailing most of the night.
Mike Miller scored 23 points for the Wizards, who end their woeful season Wednesday at home against Indiana. Andray Blatche had 19 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Shaun Livingston scored 18.
Washington led by 10 with just under 10½ minutes left after Miller's 3-pointer, but Gallinari opened and closed a 12-2 spurt with 3-pointers as New York pulled even at 92 with 7:13 remaining.
Miller put the Wizards back ahead before Rodriguez made consecutive baskets, then nailed a 3 after Bill Walker's dunk to give New York a 101-94 lead with 4:06 to play. Rodriguez closed out the spurt with a pair of free throws for a nine-point cushion.
It was an impressive rally by the Knicks, whose roster includes a number of players who probably don't have futures with the team beyond Wednesday's finale at Toronto.
Despite the misery of this season and the anticipation of next, coach Mike D'Antoni said he didn't think he'd be looking out at the floor Monday dreaming about what the team could look like next time it plays at Madison Square Garden.
"I've been kind of doing that all year," he said before the game. "I think everybody has to a certain extent, especially on bad nights."
There have been plenty of them in the Knicks' franchise-worst ninth straight losing season. But the Knicks believe their turnaround begins this summer, when they will have the most money among NBA teams to spend in free agency.
The future may not include Lee, who like most Knicks will become a free agent after the season. Though he was an All-Star this year and New York's best player since D'Antoni's arrival, they would have to renounce his rights to free up all of their $32 million in salary cap space, and he may not be a priority anyway if the Knicks can entice two superstars with that money.
Knowing it could be his last home game after playing his entire five-year career in New York, Lee said before the game it would be a "little bit of an emotional night."
It almost went down as another loss before New York's huge final quarter.
The Wizards made all five 3-point attempts in the first quarter, with Miller hitting three before Al Thornton's 37-footer at the buzzer gave them a 30-25 lead. Washington held a small lead for most of the second period before taking a 46-45 edge into halftime.
Livingston scored 14 points in the third quarter, when the Wizards scored 36 points on 67 percent shooting and led by as much as 10 before bringing an 82-74 advantage to the final 12 minutes.
NOTES: The Knicks played without Tracy McGrady, whose surgically repaired left knee wasn't up to playing on back-to-back nights. He could play Wednesday. ... Before the game, the Knicks announced they had signed center Earl Barron to a second 10-day contract. The center averaged 12.6 points and 11.4 rebounds in the first five games after signing his original 10-day deal on April 2. ... Suspended Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas has been transferred to a Maryland halfway house, where he will serve the rest of his 30-day sentence for bringing guns into the team's locker room.