CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 5 (Ticker) --
In an instant, Laron Profit
gave the Washington Wizards a rare road win.
Profit scored on a follow shot with three seconds left to lift
the Wizards to an 86-84 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
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The win snapped Washington's six-game losing streak on the road
and was just its third in nine games overall. The club last won
away from home at Cleveland on January 24 and will have nine of
its next 12 games on the road.
"Any win is important," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "And
certainly winning on the road is always big. I'm glad we got
the monkey off our back in a sense. We just have to keep
winning and can't look behind."
Profit was the hero in this one and spoiled an outstanding
fourth-quarter effort by Bobcats guard Jason Hart
, who scored 18
of his career-best 20 points in the final period, including the
last 16 for Charlotte.
Washington guard Gilbert Arenas
hit a pair of free throws with
51 seconds left to tie the game, 84-84, and the Wizards got a
stop on the other end.
They began their final possession with 27 seconds left and Juan Dixon
got off a jumper with five remaining. He missed, but
Profit soared in untouched to tip in the winner.
"(Charlotte) collapsed and we kicked it out to Juan," Profit
said. "He pump-faked and shot it, and when he shot it, I just
decided with the time left to try and get a hand on it, and
luckily for us I got a hand on it."
"We were looking to get an (isolation) for Larry (Hughes) at the
top of key," Dixon added. "My man (Hughes) helped a lot and he
made a great pass. I had an opportunity to make the
game-winning shot and missed, but Laron made a great tip-in."
Even Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff offered praise of the
"(Profit) wanted it more on that last possession," Bickerstaff
said. "Those are the situations where you have to make a play.
The defense was good and so was the rotation. Now you have to
rebound the ball. Profit was the one that got the basketball."
missed a shot from 40 feet out as time expired and
the Bobcats fell to 0-3 vs. the Wizards.
"It feels good to win on the road," said Washington center
, who scored 22 points and grabbed eight
rebounds. "The plane ride is always long whenever you lose, so
tonight we'll be able to have a good time and kick it on the
plane and enjoy ourselves."
Haywood shot 8-of-12 and has scored in double figures in his
last five games, a season high.
"I think we were very tough tonight and wanted it," Haywood
said. "We got key stops when we needed to and we played as a
unit. When you play hard and as a unit good things happen for
Arenas added 21 points for Washington, which lost All-Star
forward Antawn Jamison
to a right knee injury early in the third
quarter. Jamison will have the knee examined Monday.
"His knee was sore," Jordan said. "Too sore really to continue.
That is all we know right now."
The Wizards came into the contest with only nine healthy players
and saw each starter except Jamison log at least 36 minutes of
"(Profit's game-winner) was certainly huge," Jordan said. "The
way we came back and fought, being undermanned, really
undermanned, especially when Antawn went out. A gutsy effort
like that is what we're looking for."
Charlotte has fallen victim to a series of game-winning shots
this season, making the constant losing of an expansion team
that much more painful.
"I think you just build up immunity for the pain," Bickerstaff
said after his club fell to 5-11 in games decided by four points
"We're not getting down but we need a break," Hart said.
"Unfortunately that last rebound didn't go our way. This one
hurts. We've been taking positives from a lot of games. I
think now we're done with all the positives; by now we know what
everybody can do. We just have to get a victory."
Hart's fourth-quarter effort was made more important due to the
absence of starting point guard Brevin Knight
, who sat with an
ankle injury suffered at Boston on Friday.
"I was pretty much struggling through the first three quarters,"
Hart said. "But in the fourth quarter, I wanted to step it up
and be more aggressive. Coach (Gary) Brokaw told me to be
aggressive and try to score and that's what I did."
"He can make those shots when given the playing minutes,"
Bickerstaff said. "It was a terrific effort."