NEW YORK (AP) John Wall scored the pivotal points and made the saving steal, though the Knicks thought the Wizards had another defender who impacted their final possession even before Wall ended it.
Carmelo Anthony and Courtney Lee said a Washington assistant coach standing on the court too close to Lee kept him from taking a tying 3-point attempt. He instead passed to Brandon Jennings, who had the ball stolen by Wall.
“He was on the court,” Anthony said. “They had six players on the court.”
Wall didn’t need extra help. He had 29 points and 13 assists and scored the surging Wizards’ final four points in the last 32 seconds of their 113-110 victory Thursday night.
Otto Porter Jr. made six 3-pointers for the second straight night and added 23 points, but the Wizards needed big plays from Wall to win their fourth in a row.
He made two free throws to put Washington back on top after New York had rallied to take a 110-109 lead, then rebounded Anthony’s miss and left all the Knicks in his dust as he raced down the floor for a dunk with 13.7 seconds to play.
“Just trying to make the big-time plays,” Wall said. “But, if it’s me scoring or me passing, I’m going to live with the results if it’s the right read and the right play, and tonight I came up with some big shots and we won.”
Anthony finished with 34 points but threw the ball to Lee near the Wizards’ bench on the last possession. Lee said he heard someone standing close to him and yelling as if he was a nearby defender, confusing him enough into thinking that if he took the shot, it could be blocked.
Replays showed Wizards assistant Sidney Lowe standing on the court near Lee, who dribbled left and passed the ball hurriedly to Jennings, who had it knocked away by Wall.
“I’m not sure if he had his hands up or not, but I mean, he fooled me,” Lee said, adding he thought the NBA should look into the play. “I still should’ve took the shot, I mean it’s at the end of the game, but I drove and tried to make a play. I seen Brandon standing there but it didn’t work out.”
Derrick Rose added 20 points and Kristaps Porzingis came off the bench for 15 in his return from a sore left Achilles tendon.
The Wizards trailed 67-66 at halftime after Anthony scored a Knicks-record 25 points in the second quarter, then outscored New York 34-19 to take a 100-86 lead into the fourth.
The Knicks came all the way back to take a 110-109 lead when Rose put back his own miss with 48 seconds to play. Wall handled things from there as the Wizards won for the seventh time in eight games. They are 20-10 following a 3-9 start.
“It’s good to get a road win. We’ve had so many last-second shots on the road that didn’t go our way,” coach Scott Brooks said. “It’s nice to get a close-out tonight.”
Porter, who matched the career high for 3-pointers he set Wednesday against Memphis, had 15 points in the third quarter. The Wizards are 12-2 when he makes three or more 3s.
Wizards: Wall, the NBA leader in total steals, has one in a career-best 30 straight games. … The Wizards have won six straight at Madison Square Garden.
Knicks: Joakim Noah missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. The Knicks lost for the first time in six games this season without their starting center. … Hall of Famer Willis Reed and Allan Houston shared the previous franchise record, having both scored 24 points in a quarter. Reed also did it in the second period, while Houston’s outburst came in the fourth.
Washington improved to 2-7 on the second night of back-to-back games – with both victories against the Knicks, who are even worse in that situation. New York is 1-9, including a loss at Washington on Nov. 17.
Wizards: Visit the Pistons on Saturday. The Wizards won 122-108 at home against Detroit on Dec. 16 behind 29 points and 11 assists from Wall.
Knicks: Host the Suns on Saturday as coach Jeff Hornacek tries to beat his former team for the first time. Phoenix pulled out a 113-111 overtime victory against New York on Dec. 13.