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But the Wizards got right back in the game, getting a spark from forward Oleksiy Pecherov.

The rookie, who made his debut in the Wizards‘ victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, drained three 3-pointers in the second quarter.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan even saw enough from Pecherov that he used the 7-footer in the fourth quarter.

With Pecherov lighting the fire, the Wizards closed out the first half on a 19-10 run that pulled them within 51-41.

Wizards report

Last night at Madison Square Garden, New York

SEEN AND HEARD

The Wizards sat starting point guard Antonio Daniels because of an achy right knee.

It’s the same knee that forced Daniels to miss seven games after he suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in the second quarter against Miami on Dec. 13.

Daniels will be listed as day-to-day and have his knee further evaluated today or tomorrow. The Wizards did not rule him out of Friday’s rematch with the Knicks.

Daniels is averaging 8.9 points and a career-high 5.3 assists. He’s also shooting a career-high 48.1 percent from the field.

John N. Mitchell