WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (Ticker) -- Antawn Jamison
and Gilbert Arenas
deserving of their first All-Star selections against the
league-leading San Antonio Spurs.
Jamison scored 14 of his season-high 35 points in the fourth
quarter and grabbed 11 rebounds and Arenas added 24 points as
the Washington Wizards posted a 95-87 victory over the
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San Antonio, which had won five straight games, was playing its
second straight contest without perennial MVP candidate Tim Duncan
, who sprained his ankle in practice Monday. He was not
missed in a 104-85 triumph at lowly Charlotte on Tuesday, but
the Spurs could have used him in this one.
"It was hard tonight to make shots without having the presence
of (Duncan) in the paint," Spurs All-Star guard Manu Ginobili
said. "We took a lot of good shots, they just weren't falling.
We normally rely on (Duncan) a lot when that happens because we
always get something out of him."
Without Duncan protecting the paint, the Wizards' big men
exploited the Spurs with hustle plays in the lane throughout the
game, especially down the stretch. Washington outrebounded San
With his team holding an 88-84 edge with less than a minute
remaining, Wizards reserve forward Michael Ruffin
saved a key
possession by tracking down an errant shot by Arenas. Ruffin's
offensive rebound led to a 20-foot jumper by Arenas with 32
seconds remaining, and San Antonio got no closer.
"Ruffin has been doing a phenomenal job all year," said Jamison,
who posted his 19th double-double of the season. "Etan
(Thomas) and Ruffin bring aggressiveness that we need in the low
The Spurs blew an 11-point second-quarter lead and held just a
40-39 edge at the break. Washington took a 63-60 lead into the
final period and held just a 76-74 lead before Jamison took
A first-time All-Star, Jamison nailed a pair of 3-pointers
around one from San Antonio's Tony Parker
for an 82-77 advantage
with 4:10 remaining.
"When he is hitting the 3-point shot along with driving the
basketball, (Jamison) is a handful," San Antonio coach Gregg
After Parker sank a teardrop jumper, Jamison made two free
throws and Thomas - a 39 percent foul shooter - converted a pair
from the line for an 86-79 cushion with 2:38 to play. The
Spurs got no closer than four points thereafter.
It was the 10th time this season that the Wizards have come back
to win after trailing by at least 10 points.
Parker scored 13 of his 22 points in the final period and
contributed nine assists and eight rebounds for the Spurs, who
routed the Wizards at home on January 17, 101-73.
added 19 points before fouling out in the final
minute and Ginobili chipped in 15 but made just 6-of-15 shots.