Mike James, a vagabond now on his ninth NBA team, knocked down a couple late-game baskets to put his team over the top. Knowing the franchise's cursed history, would Wizards fans have it any other way?
It wasn't the prettiest of games, as has become the custom. Being the second of a back-to-back with New York, the first of which saw the teams combine for 250 points, many expected to see a shootout at the very least. But scoring was low and the Wizards took a 49-37 lead into the intermission, leading some to believe this would be the kickoff for a long weekend of hope in the nation's capital.
It took all of four minutes into the third quarter for the Knicks to take the lead, sending groans of "here we go again" throughout the Verizon Center.
The movie Groundhog Day has become a popular theme for the Wizards' 2008-09 season, Instead of waking up in Punxsutawney, Pa., every day, the Wizards seem to make a daily habit of blowing fourth-quarter leads.
But in a reversal of roles, the Knicks channeled their inner Phil Connors. New York took an 87-81 lead with four minutes left in the game, but wouldn't score again until a meaningless layup with two seconds left.
Caron Butler allowed Comcast's Steve Buckhantz to utter his patented, "Dagger!," after a bucket with 28 seconds left to put the Wiz up 93-87.
And Antawn Jamison's 28-point workhorse effort should not go unnoticed. But it was James, with his 19 points and two 3-pointers during the game-winning 13-0 run, who ended the losing time loop, if even for just one night.