NBA Game Summary - Washington at New York
(Wednesday, April 20th)
Final Score: New York 113, Washington 105
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Jamal Crawford scored 36 points and the lottery-bound New York Knicks ended the regular season with a 113-105 win over the playoff-bound Washington Wizards at Madison Square Garden.
Stephon Marbury added 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Knicks, who halted a two-game slide to end the season with a 33-49 mark. Mike Sweetney had 16 points and 13 boards, as New York will sit at home and watch the postseason for the third time in four years. This was also the club's fourth straight losing season.
Gilbert Arenas had 25 points and eight rebounds for the Wizards, who relinquished an eight-point fourth quarter lead with mostly reserves on the floor.
"All year we've been this kind of team," said Washington head coach Eddie Jordan. "Until we get some defensive emphasis from our leaders we are going to have to rely on what has gotten us here. Our defense doesn't have the swagger. Half-court, lock-down shut-down basketball. Playoff basketball is lock-down shut-down and we don't have that."
Larry Hughes added 16 points and Kwame Brown recorded a season-high 19 points for Washington, which ended the year 45-37 and will open its first postseason since the 1996-97 campaign in Chicago on Sunday as the five seed in the Eastern Conference.
"We need to focus," said Arenas, whose club has dropped two straight to end the season. "We need to grow up in the next few days because it's going to be a different kind of basketball (in the playoffs). This is the first time for a bunch of guys in here and we have to expect the worst."
Trailing 97-89 with four minutes elapsed in the fourth quarter, the Knicks began to mount a comeback. A 7-1 burst drew the team within 99-96 with 5:43 remaining.
Then, down 103-100, New York scored 13 of the final 15 points to steal the victory. Crawford hit a three to start the run and Maurice Taylor's three- point play with 1:47 remaining gave the Knicks the lead for good, 106-105.
Crawford scored the final seven points and hit 15 for the quarter. He had cost the Knicks a possible win in Chicago on Tuesday night by missing a pair of free throws late and a potential game-winning jumper as time expired.
"We have to get better," said Marbury in review of the season. "We have to be way more consistent on both ends of the court. It's a variety of things. We have to execute."
New York, which trailed 36-28 after one quarter and 58-54 at halftime, hit all 26 of its free throws to set a franchise record for consecutive free throws in a game.
"This is a marathon," said New York's Kurt Thomas. "It was really long this year, especially with losing. There were a a lot of new faces, another coaching change. Hopefully (interim head coach) Herb (Williams) will be back."
Williams replaced Lenny Wilkens part way through the season and most likely won't be back for next year as the head coach. Club president Isiah Thomas is expected to fill the position with a more experienced, well-known candidate.
Taylor ended with 13 points...Kurt Thomas had 10 points and 10 boards...Jared Jeffries had 12 points and Etan Thomas had 13 points and 11 boards for the Wizards...Juan Dixon added 13 points for Washington...New York ended the season 22-19 at home...Washington went 16-25 on the road.
04/20 23:54:16 ET