Wizards Got Worry: Knicks Keep Washington Winless

Crawford scores 23 for Knicks

The winning New York Knicks are having a ball running up and down the floor. The winless Washington Wizards might need an overhaul of three-fifths of their starting lineup.

Jamal Crawford led new coach Mike D'Antoni's never-take-a-breath attack with 23 points, and the Knicks spread the wealth with five players in double figures and 51 percent shooting Friday night in a 114-108 victory over the Wizards.

"It's fun," said Chris Duhon, who had 12 assists and no turnovers. "We still have a lot to learn. We're still trying to get comfortable with it, but so far we're doing a pretty good job with it. The thing is, as the season continues to go on, we're just going to continue to get better and better."

Zach Randolph added 22 points and 13 rebounds, Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson each scored 17 points, and David Lee had 13 points for the Knicks, who also had 3-pointers from seven players -- by halftime.

The Knicks went 13-for-32 from 3-point range and had 36 assists on 46 baskets, helping to compensate for a 9-for-19 night from the foul line. The team that went 23-59 last season has started a promising 3-2.

"We'll get to the point where we're just a continual barrage of coming at you," D'Antonio said. "The wins will come. I just want us to play well, play together, play hard, get a spirit among us, and start the culture off right. ... As long as the guys' eyes are bright and they come into practice and they want to learn, that's all we can ask for right now."

In a wide-open game in which both teams shot about the same from the field as from the line, Crawford gave the Knicks some breathing room with a driving layup and a jumper during a 10-0 fourth-quarter run that gave New York a 112-103 lead.

Caron Butler scored 30 points, and Antawn Jamison had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, whose 0-4 record prompts eerie flashbacks to last season's 0-5 start. The Wizards shot 52 percent from the field and 58 percent from the line, the latter percentage coming out ahead only after a pair of free throws from Butler in the final minute.

The real story in the young Wizards' season has been the underperformance of three starters -- Antonio Daniels, DeShawn Stevenson and Etan Thomas -- who have been overshadowed by their younger and more exciting subs. Juan Dixon (11 assists), Nick Young (16 points) and JaVale McGee (12 points and 10 rebounds) each played more than 27 minutes and were on the court with the game on the line in the fourth quarter.

Coach Eddie Jordan again hinted that their roles could become even more prominent.

"There's a consideration of maybe you build from your youth group," Jordan said. "We'll see where that goes."

Jordan said he also brought up last year's 0-5 start, hoping his veterans would approach the game with a "playoff focus mentality-intensity approach." It now on to Plan B for Saturday night's game at Orlando.

"It didn't get done," Jordan said, "so let's see if we can go the other way, relax a little bit and go down to Florida."

The Knicks opened the game with 3-pointers from three different players, a plan that served them well for most of the game. By the end of the first half, seven players had combined to shoot 9-for-16 from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, Wizards 7-foot rookie McGee was part awesome, part comic relief. His raw talent was on display with a pair of alley-oop dunks and a skillful alley-oop layup, but he also missed a pair of alley-oop dunks when he simply jumped too high. He was also guilty of both types of goaltending -- offensive and defensive -- in an 11-second span in the third quarter.

"They were making 3s from 30 (feet) and we were missing dunks," Jordan deadpanned. "So we were going insane on the bench, the coaches. It just didn't seem right." 

Notes: D'Antoni started Chandler instead of Lee, hoping to get a better matchup vs. Jamison. It was the first change in the starting lineup for the Knicks this season. ... It was the first road win of the season for the Knicks, a noteworthy accomplishment for a team that had lost 34 of its last 42 contests away from Madison Square Garden.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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