Washington's Bradley Beal sliced through the Knicks' defense and made the game-winning layup with 6.9 seconds left to play.
Head coach Mike Woodson found some good despite the defensive lapse that sealed the painful loss.
"J.R. [Smith] finally found his shot. Iman [Shumpert] had a couple of big made 3s from the corner,” Woodson said. "In the first half, both of them were still kind of hesitant, and we had a lot of open shots in the first half that we just didn’t make. In the second half, those guys started making some shots, which was great to see."
Smith finished with 18 points on 5 of 11 shooting from three-point range, six assists, three steals in 37:10 minutes of action.
Shumpert scored eight points and made 3 of 5 shots from behind the arc. He grabbed nine rebounds and had two assists in just over 31 minutes.
The Knicks' starting lineup:
J.R. Smith PF
Beno Udrih PG