It was one for the ages, but it wasn't at all in the Knicks' favor.
What looked like a high ending to a bad streak before the All-Star break, it actually turned into more pain and sorrow for the reeling Knicks. A 27-point lead was blown in what was one of the worst losses New York has seen in their franchise.
And it was the epitome to what this Knicks' losing streak has turned into.
"It's embarrassing," Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored 32 first-half points told The Post's Marc Berman.
The first half saw a jaw-dropping Knicks team, as they stunned the Wizards with a 21-point lead at the half. Hardaway led the way with stout shooting, which is something he hasn't been able to say during this skid. But it almost seemed to good to be true with a whole half left to play at the Garden.
Well, it was with the Wizards going on a 33-9 run to start the second half, and eventually holding the Knicks to just 15 points in the third quarter compared to their 39. Bradley Beal led the comeback with 14 points in the quarter, while the team missed only five of their 22 shots in the quarter to take a three-pint lead into the fourth.
"It's really tough, especially going into the break," Hardaway said. "You really want a game like this. They were down 27. We had opportunities to close the door and go into this break with a great mindset. It sucks to let this one go like that. Kudos to them."
Hardaway had just five points in the second half compared to his monster numbers in the first. Whatever is happening to the Knicks in the second half, he can't put a finger on it. He only knows they need to figure it out soon before the season really gets away from them.
"We get in those situations we can't be tentative," he said. "That's what happens to us all year in third quarters. We'll come out thinking we got the game won and team will put a little run together. It's just always too late. When we come to third quarters we have to be ready. It's frustrating. It's embarrassing."
Embarrassing seems to be the word of choice for the team after this game, and the record books may attest to it as well. The 27-point blown lead was the biggest margin allowed by the Knicks since the stat was first tracked back in the 1991-92 season.
Newest Knick Emmanuel Mudiay, who made his MSG debut last night, said the Wizards came out with vengeance in the third, and the team wasn't prepared.
"The first three minutes they turned the pressure up and we gave into it," Mudiay said after tallying eight points on 3-of-9 shooting Wednesday night. "We blew a 27-point lead. Not a good feeling."
Head coach Jeff Hornacek believed the rest of the team was leaning too much on Hardaway after his first-half performance. The Wizards made a second-half adjustment, and didn't give him a "clean look," as Hardaway put it.
"I think some of the guys just thought it was easy -- he's making all these shots but there's still 48 minutes in a game," Hornacek noted. "They really clamped down on him."
Now, the Knicks head into the break with their heads still down as the horrid streak continues. But maybe it is the perfect time for a lull in play to regroup, and figure out just what the Knicks' identity is and how they can exploit it on the court.
Hardaway has a pretty good idea of what it is.
"We got to have a different approach and mindset," he said. "Guys just have to, including myself, come out with a chip on our shoulder. We're not that team. We're not San Antonio. Boston, Cleveland. We're not those teams that could turn it on at any moment. We're not built that way right now. We needed to come out in those first few minutes [of the third] and get that mojo back."