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Kyle Kuzma dominates Knicks again in Wizards’ win

Jan 18, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Isaiah Hartenstein (55) looks to post up against Washington Wizards forward Taj Gibson (67) in the second quarter at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Kuzma collected 27 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists as the visiting Washington Wizards started fast and never trailed in a 116-105 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.

Washington won for the second time in seven games, led by double digits most of the way, and by as many as 17 while fending off several New York comeback attempts.

Kuzma, who scored 40 in Washington’s four-point home loss to New York Friday, had 11 points in the fourth to help the Wizards recover after letting the lead slip to seven.

Former Knick Kristaps Porzingis added 22 and 11 rebounds before fouling out. Bradley Beal returned from missing five games with a left hamstring injury to score 18 points as the Wizards shot 44.2 percent and hit 16 3-point baskets while playing just their second game this season with their entire projected starting lineup.

Jalen Brunson scored 16 of his 32 in the third but the Knicks dropped to 11-13 to remain the only team in the NBA with an overall winning record but a losing mark at home. RJ Barrett added 21 points and Immanuel Quickley contributed 18 but Julius Randle was held to 14 points on 6-of-17 shooting as the Knicks shot 41.7 percent and missed 19 of 26 3-point tries.

New York also lost starting center Mitchell Robinson to a sprained right thumb in the first half.

The Wizards scored the game’s first seven points, held a 15-point lead less than 10 minutes into the game and carried a 35-22 lead into the second quarter. Washington took a 43-28 lead early in the second and held a 56-48 advantage at halftime after Randle converted a putback dunk with two seconds left.

Washington opened a 70-53 lead on Daniel Gafford’s hook shot with 7:07 left and grabbed a 79-63 lead on a 3 by Porzingis with 4 1/2 minutes left in the quarter en route to an 88-78 lead after three quarters.

New York moved within 95-88 on a 3 by Quickley with 9:04 left but Washington scored eight straight points and consecutive layups by Kuzma along with a Beal putback opened a 105-88 lead with 5:01 remaining. Randle’s layup moved New York within 112-103 with 1:15 to go but Kuzma’s dunk on the next possession sealed it.

–Field Level Media