LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17 (Ticker) --
After Gilbert Arenas
and Larry Hughes
gave them a chance, the Washington Wizards turned to a former
Laker to seal their first victory in the Staples Center.
Arenas scored a season-high 37 points, Hughes added a
season-best 33 and Anthony Peeler
hit a game-clinching 3-pointer
in overtime as the Wizards snapped an 11-game road losing
streak to the Los Angeles Lakers with a 120-116 victory.
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After being held scoreless in the fourth quarter, Hughes hit a
jumper at the start of overtime to give Washington the lead for
good, 106-104. He assisted on Jared Jeffries' fast-break dunk
that pushed the advantage to 112-106 with 2:25 remaining.
cut the deficit in half with a 3-pointer on the
other end, but Hughes made a layup before Bryant and Lamar Odom
each hit a pair of free throws to make it 114-113 with 33
After a timeout, Hughes ran down the shot clock and found
Peeler, who nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing to push the
lead to four with 11 seconds left.
"It feels good but it hurts at the same time," said Peeler, who
played his first four seasons with the Lakers. "I bleed purple.
You know this was my first job and I love the Laker
organization. It was fun but at the same time its like 'wow.'
But it's the job you do."
Bryant, who notched his league-leading fourth triple-double with
36 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, sank a 3-pointer to make
it interesting, but Hughes made two free throws to seal the
"They made big plays down the stretch," Bryant said. "Peeler hit
a big shot and they were able to get out of here with the
victory. They came out with an excellent strategy and really
Arenas did most of his damage in regulation and scored nine of
the Wizards' final 11 points in the fourth period. He missed a
potential game-winning 15-footer at the buzzer.
"We knew that if we stayed in there they would fatigue a little
bit just because they had a tough game last night," Arenas said.
"So if we could get within striking distance, we could strike
at the end."
The win was Washington's first in its six meetings with the Los
Angeles and first on the road since the 1991-92 season.
"We talk about things like that," Hughes said. "This year we
plan on doing a lot of things that history doesn't account for.
A good start is winning games like this."
"We have a lot to prove," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "It
was a great win because we've raised the bar in that locker room
higher than probably anyone expected us to raise it. Our guys
just toughed it out tonight. It was a well played game by both
scored a season-high 23 points for the Lakers, who
failed to build upon its impressive 115-99 victory at
Sacramento on Thursday.
"The inconsistency shows in our growth," Bryant said. "But we'll
eventually get to the point where we'll start playing like we
did last night on a more consistent basis. Then we'll be all
right. It's growing pains. When you have a young team, this is
part of the growth process and something we have to endure. But
it makes the reward that much more exciting."