WASHINGTON — Bradley Beal got back to his high-scoring ways with 40 points, lifting the Washington Wizards to a 122-115 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night.

Beal overcame a slow start and surpassed the 25-point plateau for the 22nd time in 23 games. His string of 21 such games was snapped Sunday when he scored 23 in a loss to Miami.

The Wizards’ win meant the Heat will have to wait at least one more day to clinch an Eastern Conference playoff spot. Miami can do so with a home win Wednesday against Charlotte.

Beal scored 27 in the second half after connecting on five of his first 15 shots against the Knicks.

Shabazz Napier added 21 points for the Wizards.

Bobby Portis led the Knicks with 20 points against his former team, while Julius Randle added 16 before fouling out.


Both teams squandered big leads. The Wizards lost a 14-point lead in the first quarter, and the Knicks blew an 18-point advantage in the third.

The teams are out of the playoff hunt in the East, and it sounded as if there were more Knicks fans than Wizards supporters in the stands. When it was announced late in the first quarter that a 3-pointer by Frank Ntilikina was overturned by replay review, there were more boos than cheers in the more-than-half-empty arena. Chants of “Let’s go, Knicks!” and “MVP” could be heard as rookie RJ Barrett shot free throws.

ROCKETS 117, TIMBERWOLVES 111: James Harden had 37 points and Houston snapped a four-game skid with a win over visiting Minnesota.

The losing streak, which matched a season-high, dropped the Rockets to sixth in the Western Conference with the playoffs fast approaching.

D’Angelo Russell had 28 points to lead the Timberwolves, who lost their third straight.

Harden and Westbrook both had seven assists for Houston and Eric Gordon added 16 points in his return after missing two games with a sore knee. Harden made five 3-pointers after making just five combined in the previous three games.


SPURS 119, MAVERICKS 109: LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points in his return from injury and San Antonio withstood Luka Doncic’s 38 points to beat visiting Dallas.

San Antonio had seven players in double figures in snapping a two-game skid. Rudy Gay scored 17 points, Trey Lyles had 14 points and 11 rebounds and DeMar DeRozan added 13 points and 12 assists.

Doncic added seven rebounds and seven assists in 36 minutes. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points.


CAVALIERS: J.B. Bickerstaff’s impressive start with Cleveland has been rewarded.

Bickerstaff, who has Cleveland playing its best basketball this season since taking over when John Beilein suddenly resigned last month, agreed to a multi-year contract with the team on Tuesday.


The Cavs announced the deal with Bickerstaff shortly before their game in Chicago, where they started a six-game trip. Terms of the deal were not immediately known.

Although they still have one of the NBA’s worst records, the Cavs have shown major improvement in a short period under Bickerstaff. They’re 5-5 going into Tuesday’s game against the Bulls and the Cavs have had more energy and exhibited more togetherness than at any time for Beilein.

“They bought in automatically,” Bickerstaff said before tip-off in Chicago. “They’re competing, playing together and doing all the things we’ve been trying to push. They’ve led the way and made it easy for us as coaches. It’s exciting just to be a part of it. They’re obviously the ones that are gonna carry us.

“It’s our jobs as coaches to just steer the ship a little bit.”

Bickerstaff was promoted after Beilein stepped down after 54 games in his first season. He had been serving as an associate head coach under the 67-year-old Beilein, who cited personal health issues as one of his reasons for leaving a job he thought he was ready to handle.

HEAT: Miami rookie guard Tyler Herro returned to practice Tuesday, with the expectation of a return in Wednesday’s game against Charlotte after missing the past 15 games with what the team has listed as ankle soreness.

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