WASHINGTON - Carmelo Anthony rediscovered the shooting rhythm he had been looking for, and the sight of Jared Dudley helped him find it.
Over the summer, the Wizards forward called Anthony the most overrated player in the NBA. He later retracted it and apologized, but Anthony heard about it and said he circled this game on the calendar.
Anthony played brilliantly and scored 37 points to lead the Knicks to a hard-fought 117-110 road win Saturday night, spoiling the Wizards' home opener at Verizon Center.
"It becomes competitive at that point. You just want to go out there and show what you are made out of," Anthony said. "[This] is one of those nights. It had nothing really to do with him, but this was a game that I circled on my calendar. I'll see him three more times."
At the morning shootaround, Anthony made it sound as if it would be a little while before he got his stroke back. He entered the game 14-for-43 from the field and missed his first two shots Saturday night.
But he made his next eight attempts and finished 11-for-18 from the field and 4-for-5 from three-point range. He hit a huge jumper over Dudley with 1:35 to go that gave the Knicks (2-1) the lead for good.
Anthony, who had seven rebounds and four assists, iced the game with four free throws in the last 20.4 seconds.
"There was a composure and a poise to everything that he did," Derek Fisher said. "He got the shots that he wanted when he wanted them. He also made plays to make other people better."
With the score tied in crunch time, Anthony came up with a huge offensive rebound of Sasha Vujacic's air ball. After the officials reviewed it to make sure they got the shot clock right, Anthony got the ball on the left side with Dudley on him. He said he was just looking to get his space and get his shot off, and he knocked down the pull-up jumper.
Anthony admitted Dudley's remarks were a factor. "I just knew what was said in the offseason," he said. "So that was in the back of my mind."
Second-year guard Langston Galloway added 14 points off the bench and made some enormous plays himself.
He connected on two three-pointers late in the fourth and hit two foul shots for the final points of the game as the Knicks improved to 2-0 on the road. This win was more impressive than their opener in Milwaukee because they had to grind it out down the stretch.
"It's good that we spoiled two teams' home openers," Anthony said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't get our own home opener, but we'll take it. Today was a big, big win. I know it's early in the season, but this is a big win for us."
Bradley Beal led Washington (2-1) with 26 points and John Wall added 25.
The Wizards took a 104-103 lead on Wall's three-pointer with 4:06 remaining. It was short-lived as Galloway drained a contested three-pointer with 3:38 to play. The score didn't change until Beal drove and scored with 2:01 to go to tie it at 106.
After Anthony put the Knicks up by two, he defended Dudley and forced him to miss a three-pointer. The Knicks rebounded and Galloway hit another huge three to make it 111-106 with 1:03 to go.
Two foul shots by Nene and a dunk by Otto Porter Jr. with 23.9 seconds left cut the Knicks' lead to 111-110. Anthony converted two free throws with 20.4 seconds left to put the Knicks up by three.
After Beal missed a layup that Robin Lopez altered, Anthony rebounded and was fouled. He made it 115-110 with two more foul shots with 11.6 seconds to go.
"This type of game really forces you to either be a team and figure out how to win it or break apart and not be a team," Fisher said. "They definitely showed a lot of teamwork out there."