- The Washington Times - Friday, February 26, 2010

WASHINGTON | David Lee provided just enough offense for the New York Knicks to escape an overtime where the defenses ruled.

Lee made a layup with 1.6 seconds left in the extra period, and the Knicks beat the Washington Wizards 118-116 on Friday night to snap an eight-game losing streak.

New York won for just the second time this month — both against Washington — by surviving a bizarre overtime where the teams combined to miss 13 of their 16 field goal attempts.

“What was strange about it is, both teams are having trouble getting stops on defense in regulation, and when it came time for overtime neither team could score,” Lee said.

With the game tied at 116, Lee — who had both of New York’s baskets in overtime — drove left and scored over JaVale McGee.

“I’m still shocked right now,” Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We’re probably lucky to get away with it, but they would have been lucky to win.”

Lee, who had 25 points and 16 rebounds, hit a jumper with 3:12 remaining to give New York a 114-112 lead. McGee missed the second of two free throws with 13 seconds to play, and the Knicks’ lead was 114-113.

Al Harrington, who had 26 of his 37 points after halftime, hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to make it 116-113. Nick Young’s 3-pointer with 6.4 seconds remaining in overtime — Washington’s only basket in the extra five minutes — made it 116-all.

Lee, who was a last-minute All-Star game selection, has been treated as kind of a free agent afterthought. While he’s gotten better and better, Lee, who’s never been to the playoffs in five seasons, may only return to New York if the Knicks are unable to lure prized free agents such as LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

“We know that both teams tonight are on the outside looking in as far as the playoff situation, but it didn’t stop both teams from playing very, very hard tonight,” Lee said.

The game was tied at 112 entering overtime after McGee blocked Wilson Chandler’s layup attempt with 1.9 seconds remaining in regulation.

New York is 2-5 in overtime and Washington has lost all four of its overtime games.

Harrington has played fewer minutes in the four games since the arrival of Tracy McGrady, but he had his biggest game since the trade. McGrady had 23 points, but left with about 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter and did not return.

D’Antoni wanted to bring McGrady back in the game, but Harrington sparked the Knicks and D’Antoni thought the team was playing so well he didn’t want to change the lineup. With about three minutes to play, he asked McGrady to return, but his balky left knee had tightened and he begged off.

Washington, now 3-3 since the trades of Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison, was led by Andray Blatche, who had 26 points and a career-high 18 rebounds and nearly had a dubious triple-double. He committed eight turnovers.

“This is all new for me,” Blatche said. “I’ve never been the go-to guy.”

Blatche has averaged 25 points since the trade. Randy Foye had 22 points and a season-high 10 assists. McGee, who didn’t start because he was late for shootaround, had 18 points and 10 rebounds.

NOTES: James Singleton started instead of McGee and suffered a sprained left ankle making a layup early in the second quarter. He did not return. Singleton is the 15th different player to start for the Wizards. … Washington signed G Shaun Livingston to a 10-day contract. Livingston, who was the fourth pick in the 2004 NBA draft played two minutes and didn’t score. . … The Wizards would like to buy out the contract of G Mike James. James sought a trade, and when he wasn’t dealt, he left the team. James has indicated he would like to play for a playoff contender. … New York G Chris Duhon played the first 54 games hasn’t played the last three. … Washington blocked a season-high 13 shots. … Three Wizards fouled out.

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