Knicks defeat Washington; Wizards eliminated from NBA In-Season Tournament contention
New York Knicks Coach Tom Thibodeau leads his team to a 120-99 victory over Washington, eliminating the Wizards from the NBA In-Season Tournament.
New York Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau is not taking the NBA In-Season Tournament lightly. He emphasized that winning is all that matters, regardless of the season. Jalen Brunson and Immanuel Quickley led the Knicks to a 120-99 victory over Washington, eliminating the Wizards from contention in the tournament. Washington has lost all three of its games so far, while New York improved to 1-1.
In the preliminary round, teams play four games each, with the six group winners and two wild cards advancing. The Knicks' 21-point victory was crucial for their point differential, but they didn't make any special effort to inflate the margin at the end. Thibodeau emphasized that his main focus is to have one more point than the opposing team.
New York has been performing well, winning five of their last six games and sending the Wizards to their fifth straight defeat. Although Washington tried to cut the margin to five points in the second half, the Knicks always had an answer. Jalen Brunson highlighted the team's ability to respond to Washington's scoring runs and praised the talent on the opposing team.
The Knicks' defensive-minded approach effectively slowed down the pace of the game and held the Wizards, who were ranked No. 1 in the NBA in pace, to under 100 points. Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, and Deni Avdija were among the top performers in the game. The Knicks outscored Washington 31-15 in the fourth quarter, securing their victory.
Thibodeau praised Donte DiVincenzo and Quickley for their solid contributions, and emphasized the consistent performance of Brunson and Randle. RJ Barrett did not play due to an illness. Overall, the Knicks' approach to the tournament reflects their determination to win, regardless of the circumstances.