Published May 02, 2016
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Nene scored 20 points and helped the Washington Wizards pull away for a 101-91 win over the New York Knicks, who were dealt a franchise-record 13th consecutive loss.
John Wall aided Washington's cause as well by tallying 18 points and eight assists, with Rasual Butler adding 14 points off the bench and Marcin Gortat posting a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds.
A makeshift Knicks team that has seen most of its core players either sidelined or traded away lost for the 23rd time in its last 24 games. New York's previous longest slide had come to conclude the 1984-85 season.
"It is tough, mentally, for sure," said Knicks guard Jose Calderon of the team's struggles. "It's not easy with all the changes happening to us. Teammates are going and new ones are arriving and (there's been) so many injuries as well."
Calderon paced the Knicks with 17 points, while Jason Smith had 13 in 21 minutes before fouling out late.
In a game they never trailed, the Wizards began to separate midway through the second quarter, putting forth an 11-2 run behind their second unit to open up a 45-32 advantage.
Wall's steal and fastbreak dunk staked Washington to its largest lead of the first half, a 53-37 margin with under a minute to go before the intermission. New York then countered with back-to-back baskets to trim its deficit to 12 at the break.
After a pair of Calderon 3-pointers early in the second half brought the margin under double digits, the Wizards embarked on a 17-5 tear to move further in front. Bradley Beal finished off the surge with back-to-back treys, the last giving Washington a commanding 72-52 lead midway through the third quarter.
"It was important for us," said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman of his team's strong start to the second half. "When you're dealing with a team that's going through transition, obviously with the trades and what's going on with their team, you want to come out right away and don't give them any life."
The Knicks managed to close the gap considerably, however, and were down just 77-69 with nearly 10 minutes to play after going on a 12-2 spurt. It was just a five-point game after Shane Larkin followed a Langston Galloway triple with a driving layup to make the score 83-78 with 6:33 remaining.
Butler then scored on consecutive Washington possessions, and his 3-pointer with 4:20 to go capped a 9-0 sequence that kept New York at bay.
Wall led the Wizards on a 9-0 run near the end of the first quarter that put the home team up by a 30-19 count, but the Knicks scored the next seven points to get within four early in the second.
Galloway was making his NBA debut, having signed a 10-day contract with the Knicks earlier in the day after beginning the season with Westchester of the NBADL. He finished with seven points in 17 minutes ... Wizards forward Paul Pierce sat out the contest for rest purposes ... Washington has now won six straight in the series, including all three matchups this season ... The Wizards improved to 19-1 when allowing 99 points or fewer ... Washington owned a 48-24 advantage in points in the paint.