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Knicks 118, Wizards 109: Scenes from the Knicks clinching a playoff spot

A shorthanded second-half comeback makes the obvious official

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

If you weren’t already neurotically aware of the precarity of life, Sunday night’s game between the New York Knicks and Washington Wizards couldn’t shut up about it. No Bradley Beal, Kyle Kuzma or Kristaps Porziņģis for D.C.; NYC was without Julius Randle, RJ Barrett and Walt Frazier, who missed his own bobblehead night after being out of town for Willis Reed’s funeral. The Knicks trailed most of the first half and were down nine in the third before the cream rose to the top. Four Knicks scored 20+ as they ran roughshod the rest of the way, their lead rising as high as 20 en route to a 118-109 win.

Precarity breeds like rabbits, so the night could not be complete without another ankle scare, this time Josh Hart going down in the fourth before heading to the locker room. Thankfully he returned to the bench; the Knicks said he got the ankle re-taped and was clear to play if needed. By that point, he wasn’t. With the win, the Knicks clinched a top-six spot. Brooklyn won, so New York’s magic number to clinch the fifth seed is — well, it’s either one or two, depending how you project the tiebreakers. They could very well come down to the fifth tiebreaker, though I’m not clear on whether “teams eligible for the playoffs” means the top-six teams, the top-10 or if we have to wait till after the play-in tournament ends to know who’s “eligible.”

Dallas is in overtime with just under seven seconds left, tied with Atlanta. They should have won and lost the game by now. What an excruciating team to root for. Wait. Kyrie just fouled Trae Young with 1.2 seconds left, sending Young to the line with a chance to win it. Christ. Thank God I’m a Knicks fan.