WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (Ticker) --
The Washington Wizards' "Big Three" got
some help from their supporting cast and were able to bounce
back from their worst loss of the season.
scored a career-high 15 points and Brendan Haywood
added 14 as the Wizards coasted to a 106-87 victory over
the Charlotte Bobcats.
NBA TV highlights from |
One day earlier, Washington finished its five-game road trip
with a 109-74 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Only two Wizards scored in double figures in that game and the team shot just 39 percent (30-of-78).
It was a different story against the expansion Bobcats, as the
Wizards shot a season-high 55 percent (40-of-73) and had six
players score at least 10 points.
"It's nice to get back out here the next day and have the chance
to put (Sunday's game) behind us," said Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas
, who added 14 of his 17 points in the first half. "We
took what we needed from last night and moved on. It's not like
college. When you get beat you don't have to wait for a week to
get rid of that bad taste."
"This team has been resilient," Washington coach Eddie Jordan
said. "We have lost some tough games and we have come back and
played pretty well. It is all about winning. It is not about who
is scoring and who is getting the recognition."
Charlotte stayed close through most of the first half, drawing
within 44-43 on a jumper by rookie Emeka Okafor
remaining in the second. But Washington closed the period on a
16-6 run to take an 11-point lead at the break.
Haywood and Jeffries combined for 10 points in the spurt, which
Hughes capped with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Jeffries made 7-of-8 shots and Haywood was 5-of-6 for the
Wizards, who held a 60-34 advantage in the paint.
"It takes a lot of the pressure away from Gilbert, Larry and
me," said Antawn Jamison
, who scored 15 points on 7-for-17
shooting. "Once we get those points inside, it makes the game
flow smoother because we are getting inside and outside
The Wizards' top three scorers -- Hughes, Arenas and Jamison --
took over in the third, combining for 12 in a game-clinching
14-6 burst late in the quarter.
Hughes added seven of his 20 points in the run and assisted on
Jamison's dunk that made it 82-67 with 1:20 left in the quarter.
"It certainly wasn't our best basketball, but it was far from
our worst," Hughes said. "We stayed consistent and followed the
straight line to the win."
Charlotte never threatened in the fourth, with Washington taking
its biggest lead, 104-80, on a layup by Jeffries with just over
two minutes on the clock.
"I looked up at the scoreboard one minute and we were in it, and
the next minute we were down 20-some points," Okafor said. "I
don't know what happened to tell you the truth. That's the way
it goes. I guess it was just one of those off nights."
"Basically what we were was just a non-entity," Bobcats coach
said. "The real simple part of this is we
just were not very good tonight. It's just that simple. There
are no answers to that. That's the bottom line. I can't come up
with anything any better than that."
Okafor had 18 points and 11 rebounds and recorded his 16th
consecutive double-double -- the longest streak by a rookie in 12
"I knew it was possible," Okafor said. "I didn't come out and
say, 'I'm going to get X-amount of double-doubles in a row.' My
whole mindset is to come out and play hard and just try to