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Knicks clinch playoff berth with 118-109 win over Wizards

Knicks clinch playoff berth with 118-109 win over Wizards

NEW YORK (AP) — Jalen Brunson and Quentin Grimes each scored 27 points, and the New York Knicks clinched a playoff berth with a 118-109 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday night.

Immanuel Quickley added 22 points and Obi Toppin had 21 for the Knicks, who won their fourth in a row and will be in the postseason for the second time in three years. They had missed the playoffs the previous seven seasons.

Mitchell Robinson contributed eight points and 11 rebounds as the Knicks, who have won both games since losing All-Star forward Julius Randle to a sprained left ankle.

Corey Kispert led Washington with a career-high 29 points. Johnny Davis had 16 and Taj Gibson added 14.

The Knicks trailed by as many as 10 points in the second quarter and 61-53 at halftime. The Wizards extended their lead to 64-55 before the Knicks went on a 14-4 run to reclaim a lead they never gave back. New York extended its advantage to 86-79 at the end of the third quarter.

Toppin opened the final quarter with a 3-pointer, giving the Knicks their first double-digit lead. The Wizards never got closer than eight the rest of the way. New York took its biggest lead at 114-94 on Brunson’s floater with 2:38 left in the game.

The Knicks were ahead 36-31 early in the second when the Wizards went on a 17-2 run and took a 48-38 lead on Deni Avdija’s 3-pointer with 7:41 left in the second quarter. Jordan Goodwin and Kendrick Nunn each had 11 points for the Wizards.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Washington was without its top three scorers: Bradley Beal (23.2), Kristaps Porzingis (23.2) and Kyle Kuzma (21.2). Porzingis missed his second straight game with a non-Covid illness, while Beal (sore left knee) and Kuzma (sprained right ankle) have been out for six and seven games, respectively. ... In eight games against his former team, Porzingis has averaged 21.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. … No one on the Wizards’ roster has played in all of the team’s games this season. Avdija has only missed one.

Knicks: RJ Barrett missed the game with a non-Covid illness. … Randle had started the first 77 games before his injury. Only Isaiah Hartenstein has played in every game for the Knicks. … Exactly 53 years ago, April 2, 1970, the late Willis Reed collected a Knicks playoff-record 36 rebounds in a win over the then-Washington Bullets in Game 5 of the Eastern Division semifinals.

UP NEXT

Wizards: Host Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Knicks: At Indiana on Wednesday.

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