Mario Hezonja’s game on point as Knicks rally past Wizards
David Fizdale has created a point-guard monster.
Mario Hezonja, in his second straight start at the point, carried the Knicks on his back to a furious fourth-quarter rally, posting a new career-high of 30 points to upend the Wizards, 113-110, at a Garden that rocked until the final surreal seconds.
Coming off his triple-double in a blowout loss to the Rockets in his debut as a point guard Friday, Hezonja was at it again Sunday night, perhaps giving pause on his future position at age 24.
Hezonja, who had set his career-high of 29 in Orlando last week, racked up 30 with two game-clinching free throws with eight seconds left. He also had five assists and six rebounds.
The Knicks rallied from 10 points down after three quarters and were up by three with 2:40 left, sparked by Hezonja’s monster jam.
After the Wizards reclaimed the lead, Hezonja drained a 3-pointer from the left wing to give the Knicks a 111-110 edge with 44 seconds left. With 18 seconds left, Sam Dekker ended it for Washington by fumbling an easy inbounds pass out of bounds.
The Wizards had won nine straight at the Garden before folding Sunday. The Knicks moved to 16-64 and can avoid setting the all-time worst record in their franchise history by going 1-1 in their final two games.
Derek Fisher’s 2014-15 squad holds the record for the franchise’s worst record at 17-65.
The Knicks visit the Bulls Tuesday and host Pistons on Wednesday.
It looked like the Knicks would collapse again when Mitchell Robinson was called for a goaltending on Troy Brown, who then nailed a corner 3 on the next possession to give the Wizards a two-point lead with 48 seconds to go.
Hezonja, a free agent this summer, got in a groove early, penetrating and passing. In the first half, he had perfect alley-oop passes to their two rookies, Robinson and Kevin Knox. Robinson finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Dennis Smith Jr., after missing the previous three games with a bad back, came off the bench to play 26 minutes and score 15 points. Smith was said to be less than 100 percent and it was surprising the Knicks let him play.
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