WASHINGTON, Jan. 2 (Ticker) -- Larry Hughes
and Juan Dixon
shots when it counted most.
Hughes scored nine of his 26 points in the final 3½ minutes
and Dixon scored 12 of his 15 in the fourth quarter as the
Washington Wizards held on for a 104-101 victory over the
Atlanta Hawks, who have lost four in a row.
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Hughes made just 7-of-24 shots but hit a 3-pointer that gave the
Wizards a 94-89 lead with 3:19 left. He converted six crucial
free throws in the final two minutes, finishing 11-of-13 from
"I definitely didn't shoot the ball well and we didn't play good
basketball," Hughes said. "We weren't in rhythm and we weren't
in sync, but we got it done in the end."
Dixon, who played only 33 minutes in the previous five games,
came off the bench to spark the Wizards in the final period.
"You never know when your number is going to be called," Dixon
said. "I cheered the guys on in the first half, then I had to
go out there and be aggressive and make plays. I just wanted to
come off and give us a spark. Coach called my number and I was
able to make some shots and give us a nice lead."
"Juan Dixon came in and he was huge," said Hawks guard Tony Delk
, who scored 19 points. "He knocked down some open shots
and that was the key to them staying in the game. He came in
with a hot hand and we couldn't get to him fast enough."
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan
said Dixon salvaged the victory.
"Juan was Superman for us today," Jordan said. "He really
stepped in and laid it out there. He has kept his poise, sees
his opportunities and he feels good about himself. We really
needed him today."
"Juan played great," Hughes said. "He came in aggressive and
took good shots. He definitely was the difference."
caused the Wizards to sweat by drilling two
3-pointers in the final minute to pull the Hawks within 102-101
with 3.1 seconds left. But Antawn Jamison
, who scored 19 points,
made a pair from the line with 2.1 seconds to go, and Tyronn Lue
missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"That's kind of been the story of our season," said Walker, who
had 18 points and 13 rebounds. "We've played good basketball
and put ourselves in position to win and for whatever reason we
don't make a shot or turn it over. That's unfortunate, because
at 5-24, moral victories don't matter.
"We're playing well enough to win games so it's unfortunate that
we keep coming up on the short end of the stick," Walker said. "We have so
many new guys but we're going to get better. The playoffs
cannot be our objective; we just have to get better and build
toward next year. In the last 40 games of the season, we're
going to be better and surprise a lot of people."
Washington's Gilbert Arenas
, who returned after missing Friday's
game at Boston with flu-like symptoms, scored 15 of his 17
points in the first half.
"He just didn't look like himself, although he had a stretch
where he got to the rim a few times, got to the basket, made
some drives down the paint and really kept us in it," Jordan
said. "That was the Gil I know and he probably shot a whole lot
of his energy during that little spurt. We needed that spurt