Carmelo Anthony poured in a game-high 30 points on Friday to help the New York Knicks notch a 96-88 victory over the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center.
Raymond Felton followed with 23 points and six assists, while J.R. Smith added 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Knicks, who have won three straight on the heels of a four-game skid.
"We just got a lot more aggressive with them," said Tyson Chandler, on how New York held Washington to just 11 fourth quarter points. "We were smarter down the stretch, executed our defensive plan and forced some tough shots."
Bradley Beal posted a double-double with a career-high 29 points and 11 boards, while John Wall netted 16 points and handed out six assists in Washington's second straight setback.
"I was just trying to make plays," said Beal. "I was in the zone and I was just trying to do whatever it took to get the team rolling."
The Wizards carried a 77-73 edge after three quarters before the Knicks opened the final frame on a 14-2 spurt that Anthony capped with a putback layup to make it 87-79 with 6:46 to play.
Washington answered with a 7-0 sprint to pull within one on Beal's 3-pointer with 4:03 remaining, but the Wizards failed to register a field goal the rest of the way, allowing the Knicks to escape with the victory.
Early on, a Beal jumper with just over three minutes remaining in the first provided the home team with a 21-17 edge, but Steve Novak and Smith combined on a 9-0 surge to help the Knicks take a 26-23 edge after 12 minutes.
It remained nip-and-tuck throughout the second, with neither team building a lead higher than four until the Knicks closed the half on a 9-0 run behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Smith to take a 54-48 cushion into the break.
New York maintained its advantage for much of the third and led by nine, 69-60, with 4:41 to play before a Trevor Ariza 3-pointer sparked a 15-2 Washington run that Beal capped with a triple of his own to give the Wizards a 75-71 lead with 44 seconds left in the third quarter.
Smith's 12 rebounds set a new career high ... New York had won 10 straight in the series before dropping a 106-96 decision in Washington on Feb. 6 ... The teams will meet again on April 9 at Madison Square Garden ... Ariza finished with 15 points for the Wizards.