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News » Wizards 109, Cavaliers 101

Wizards 109, Cavaliers 101

Wizards 109, Cavaliers 101
WASHINGTON (AP) - LeBron James and the best-in-East Cleveland Cavaliers will continue toward the playoffs, with barely a passing thought about a late-season loss to the worst-in-East Washington Wizards.

For the Wizards, however, this was their playoff game. The biggest win of the season. The first time all year they used a lineup that included Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood.

Washington ended Cleveland's franchise-record 13-game winning streak Thursday night with a 109-101 victory, a game interim coach Ed Tapscott had said would be a "snapshot" of what the Wizards could be.

"Before the game I said it was a snapshot; now I'll say it was a portrait," Tapscott said. "It was a very confidence-inspiring win for us. We hope that this'll give people a bit of a preview of what we will be next year. It's what we thought we would be this year."

Arenas, playing his second game of the season in his latest attempt to return from knee surgery, had 11 points on 3-for-11 shooting with 10 assists and six rebounds in 33 minutes.

Haywood, also playing his second game of the season and making his first start after recovering from a major wrist injury, added 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Wizards also received the usual steady contributions from Butler (25 points) and Jamison (19) and a surprising 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting from Darius Songaila as they snapped a three-game losing streak.

"We've been saying this for years - get everybody healthy and see what we can do," Butler said. "But unfortunately, we've had a lot of injuries. Hopefully that's behind us now."

James scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half and finished with six assists and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, but he also had six of Cleveland's nine turnovers and had a 3-point attempt stuffed in his face by Butler in the final half-minute.

"We can't let one loss affect how we've done and how successful we've been," James said. "We're going to take this game to heart because we hate to lose, but we're going to move on to the next one."

The Wizards led 68-54 midway through the third quarter and 80-70 going into the fourth, but the Cavaliers opened the final period with a 16-6 run with James on the bench. The Wizards answered with an 11-3 spurt, including a three-point play and a drive to the basket by Songaila and a short jumper from Arenas.

The clinching basket was Nick Young's explosive drive with 1:05 to play, putting the Wizards ahead 104-98. The crowd roared as Washington - a team that has won only 18 games - wrapped up its second win over Cleveland this season.

"A broken clock strikes twice," Arenas said with a laugh.

Nuggets 114, Jazz 104

At Denver, J.R. Smith sank a career-high eight 3-pointers and scored 28 points, and the Nuggets reached 50 wins faster than any time in their NBA history.

Smith's 3-pointers were one shy of the franchise mark set by Michael Adams in 1991 and tied four years later by Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.

Carmelo Anthony added 23 points for Denver, seeking home-court advantage in a playoff series for the first time since 1988. The Nuggets (50-26) won their 10th in 11 games.

Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, who recently returned to full health after dealing with a bad back for a month, went to the locker room in the third quarter with what the team described as a cartilage strain in his left rib cage. X-rays were negative but he didn't return to action.

C.J. Miles led six Jazz players in double figures with 19 points.

76ers 105, Bucks 95

At Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala scored 20 points, Lou Williams had 14 of his 21 in the second half, and the 76ers rallied from a 13-point first-half deficit.

Andre Miller contributed 18 points and 11 assists for the Sixers (39-35), who won their second straight and vaulted past Miami into fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Ramon Sessions led Milwaukee with his second straight stellar outing, getting 18 points, 10 assists and five rebounds a night after his first career triple-double.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 3, 2009


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