Jamison returns, leads Washington past Hawks
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Antawn Jamison netted 22 points in his
first action in 12 games, as the Washington Wizards celebrated the return of
two key contributors with a 93-92 win over Atlanta at the Verizon Center.
Caron Butler was also back in the lineup and had four points, eight rebounds
and five assists for the Wizards, who had dropped four in a row. Jamison had
been out with a sprained left knee since January 30, and the Wizards were 4-8
without him. Butler missed Washington’s last three contests with lower back
spasms, and the Wizards lost each of those games.
Gilbert Arenas finished with 19 points in the tight victory, while DeShawn
Stevenson provided several of the key plays down the stretch and ended with
nine points and five assists.
“I thought I was going to be a little more winded…I was kind of surprised,
but not that surprised,” Jamison said.
Josh Smith had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Marvin Williams donated 21 points
for Atlanta, which has lost four straight and six of seven. Joe Johnson added
20 points and six assists in a losing effort.
“I thought our second half effort was good but we came up short at the end and
didn’t execute down the stretch,” Johnson said.
The Wizards held a 47-45 halftime lead behind 11 points from Brendan Haywood
on 5-of-7 shooting.
That lead was pushed to 74-67 at the end of three quarters after Jarvis Hayes
made a layup in the closing seconds.
Atlanta fought back in the fourth, though, and trimmed the deficit to 82-81
with 7:41 remaining after a Johnson turnaround jumper. Washington responded
with an 8-0 burst, which Butler capped with a layup to make it 90-81 with 4:59
The Hawks again had an answer, storming back in the final minutes to briefly
take the lead. Trailing by five with about three minutes remaining, Atlanta
rattled off the next six points, including a Josh Childress slam with 45 ticks
on the clock to put the road team ahead, 92-91.
Stevenson was fouled on the ensuing possession and made 1-of-2. Haywood
grabbed the offensive board and missed his putback try, but Stevenson came up
with the ball and earned a second trip to the line. Again he went 1-of-2 to
give the Wizards a 93-92 edge.
Williams’ jumper on the other end was off the mark, but Atlanta retained
possession. Tyronn Lue got the ball at the top of the arc as time was set to
expire and he went up for the potential game-winner, but Stevenson blocked his
shot to seal the win.
Haywood ended with 14 points and nine boards…Childress had 16 points and
eight rebounds…These teams will meet again on March 7 and April 13 at
Philips Arena…The Hawks have lost seven straight and 11 of their last 13
trips to D.C.