WASHINGTON D.C. — The Knicks were on the verge of finally making something decent happen. Halfway through Saturday night’s game at the Verizon Center, the beleaguered team had a chance to finish its brutal six-game, two-week road trip feeling pretty good about itself.
Instead, the Knicks blew an 18-point second-quarter lead and fell to the Washington Wizards, 99-89.
After the game, it was revealed that Carmelo Anthony was playing with a migraine. Although he scored 20 points, Anthony looked off for most of the night, shooting 7-for-21.
The loss gave the Knicks (28-42) a 2-4 record on the road trip, which featured wins over the Lakers and Suns and losses to the Nuggets, Clippers, Warriors and Wizards.
It also assured the Knicks of their third straight losing season. They have lost 20 of their last 26 games.
“It’s not easy,” Jose Calderon said. “We had a great thing going, we started the season 22-22, and for whatever reason, injuries and something, it didn’t happen.”
The win was the fourth in row for the Wizards (34-35), who are jockeying to make it into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
John Wall, who entered the game having posted two consecutive triple-doubles, had 24 points and 10 rebounds.
The Knicks led by as many as 18 points in the second quarter but started to get into trouble late in the period after Anthony began missing shots.
Anthony, who missed six straight shots, apparently was feeling the effects of the migraine. He was in too much pain to speak with reporters after the game and was being looked at by doctors.
The Wizards took their first lead of the game with 6:56 left in the third quarter when Robin Lopez was called for goaltending on Marcin Gortat’s layup. Washington outscored the Knicks 33-22 in the third quarter.
“They upped their defense and we couldn’t execute our offense. We couldn’t get penetration,” said interim coach Kurt Rambis, who is 5-11 since taking over the team.
The one good piece of news for the Knicks is that Kristaps Porzingis looked healthier. He scored 20 points, shot 7-for-14 and grabbed seven rebounds.
Anthony wasn’t the only player who was ailing by the end of the game.
Calderon sprained his ankle in the first half when he came down on Wall. He said he thinks he will be all right for Sunday night’s game against the Sacramento Kings at Madison Square Garden.
Notes & quotes: Arron Afflalo came off the bench for the third straight game after missing two games with an abdominal strain. Rambis said before the game that the move was not a demotion and that he likes the offense that Afflalo brings to the second unit . . . Calderon said at Saturday morning’s shootaround that he wants to be back with the Knicks next season, even if that means he’s in a backup role. “For sure, 100 percent,” the point guard said when asked if he would come off the bench. “I’m not the one putting me in a starting position,’’ he said. “That’s a question for the coach. But yes, 100 percent.”