Knicks' D goes MIA in D.C.

WASHINGTON -- About 20 minutes after the Knicks' loss to the Wizards on Wednesday, Tyson Chandler sat in front of his locker, feet soaking in a bucket of ice water, staring at the box score in his hands.

Chandler didn't like what he was looking at.

"You let a team shoot 53 percent, that's a recipe for disaster," he said.

Disaster's one way to put it. You could also call it an embarrassment. How about a collapse?

Bottom line: the Knicks' defense was awful on Wednesday, and it cost them a winnable game in Washington.

"We were just there thinking we were going to show up and come out of here with a win. It just didn't happen," Mike Woodson said after his team's 106-96 loss to a 13-35 Washington team. "It was awful across the board, starting at the top with me."

It's noble of Woodson to take the blame for this one. From his seat on the bench, though, there wasn't much he could do to stop the Wizards from hitting 11 of their 20 3-point attempts or scoring 36 points in the fourth quarter.

All night, it seemed, the Knicks failed to fight through screens or provide the kind of perimeter help necessary to slow down a talent like John Wall (21 points, nine assists, five rebounds).

"When we're playing like that, we're an awful team," Woodson said.

The Knicks seemed to be in control after a 21-7 third-quarter run gave them a three-point lead going into the fourth.

But Wall took over in the final stanza. The former No. 1 pick scored 11 points and handed out three assists to help Washington outscore New York by 13 in the final 12 minutes.

"He made it tough for us," said Carmelo Anthony, who scored 31 points.

To J.R. Smith, Wall wasn't the only reason the Knicks lost for the first time in six games. He thought his teammates' approach was off from the opening tip.

"We expected to come in here and win, and I think that's part of our problem," Smith said. "We just expect teams, when we come in the building, to lay down and not play, and we can't do that."

They did it on Wednesday night. And they lost a winnable game in Washington.

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