NEW YORK (AP) — Mario Hezonja scored a career-high 30 points and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 44 seconds left, and the New York Knicks beat the Washington Wizards at home for the first time in six years with a 113-110 victory Sunday night.
Luke Kornet added 17 points and Kevin Knox had 16 for the Knicks (16-64), who would have tied the franchise record with a 65th loss had they not rallied from a 10-point deficit after three quarters.
They had lost nine straight at Madison Square Garden to the Wizards since their last victory on April 9, 2013, but Hezonja brought New York back with some big plays in the final period.
Starting again at point guard, he added six rebounds and five assists.
Jeff Green had 19 points and Thomas Bryant scored 17 for the Wizards (32-49), who need to beat Boston on Tuesday in their final game to avoid a 50-loss season.
Hezonja’s 3-pointer made it 111-110, and the Knicks got the ball back when Sam Dekker lost it out of bounds. Hezonja hit two free throws for the final margin.
New York has to win its last two games to avoid at least matching its 17-65 mark under Derek Fisher in 2014-15.
Washington led 56-52 at halftime but New York took a 68-67 lead on Hezonja’s follow shot with 7:41 remaining in the third. The Wizards ran off the next 13 points to go ahead 80-68 on Bobby Portis’ 3-pointer about three minutes later, and they took an 89-79 lead to the fourth.
New York made its first five 3s in the final quarter and charged back to take a 106-103 lead on Mitchell Robinson’s free throws with 2:20 to play.
Wizards: Bradley Beal scored 13 points, going 5 of 17 and landing hard after a dunk in the first half. ... Jordan McRae sat out with a sore left Achilles tendon.
Knicks: Dennis Smith Jr. played despite back soreness, coming off the bench to score 15 points after missing the previous three games. ... Coach David Fizdale isn’t sure if guards Allonzo Trier (left calf) and Kadeem Allen (concussion) will return this season.
Washington coach Scott Brooks said it’s hard not to look at the Eastern Conference, where a winning record wasn’t required to secure a playoff berth, and think the Wizards should’ve been there.
“Every year you go down, ‘OK, we came up short on that game, we should’ve won that game.’ You can list off a bunch of games. I’ve always done that. When we won 60 games in OKC we did the same thing,” Brooks said.
“There’s definitely opportunity the way the East is this year. There might be three teams right at .500 — 6, 7, 8. But can’t worry about that now. We’ve got to move forward and during a tough season a lot of good things happened.”
NO PROBLEM, HOUSTON
Fizdale wasn’t concerned with Rockets starters leaving the bench before the Knicks’ loss in Houston had ended on Friday, saying he didn’t know their reasons for doing so and didn’t need them to explain it to him.
“I’ve got a game today,” he said. “I’ve got the Wizards.”
Wizards: Host Boston on Tuesday.
Knicks: Visit Chicago on Tuesday.
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