Continued from page 1

The Knicks got the ball back after Wall lost control of it as he drove to the basket. With 33.5 seconds left, Anthony then found an open Raymond Felton for a 3-pointer to give the Knicks an 89-86 lead, but Beal answered with his jumper over Chandler, who had come out to help.

It was the second straight win for Washington, which clinched its first playoff since 2008 on Wednesday.

“Our defense was pretty good but Trevor’s (Ariza) defense on Carmelo was outstanding”, Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.

“Trevor fought and fought him. At the end we decided to trap him and make someone else beat us.”

The Knicks couldn’t and now they will face a tough challenge Sunday when they travel to face the Miami Heat, who have already beaten them twice this season.

The Knicks have five remaining games, three on the road, against three teams that are all playoff-bound in the East.

New York can’t afford to have its leading scorer out.

“Well I knew it was bothering him, but you know we’ve got to have Melo on the floor,” Woodson said.

“Again, it was a hard-fought game. Our guys came up defeated, so now we have to figure out how we’re going to get it back because … Atlanta won tonight.”

Notes: Former Buffalo Bills quarterback and Hall of Famer Jim Kelly attended the game with his family. Kelly, who is battling his second bought with cancer, will undergo treatment next week at a hospital in the city. … Before the game, the Knicks honored Anthony with a plaque to celebrate his 62-point, Madison Square Garden record, set Jan. 24.