Jamison Lifts Streaking Wizards Past Hawks
Washington 98, Atlanta 85
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (Ticker) -- Antawn Jamison came up big once again as the Washington Wizards got their longest homestand of the season off to a strong start.
Jamison scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Wizards to a 98-85 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Jamison's lower lip required three stitches after the game, so he bypassed talking with the media. Butler, however, spoke on his fellow forward's behalf.
"He's been the sparkplug, hitting big shots when we need them," Butler said of Jamison, who is two rebounds shy of 4,000 in his career. "Like I told him, I hope that he makes the All-Star team. That would be big for him and for this organization. But if not, he's an All-Star in our minds. He's hitting the glass hard and making other guys better."
Jamison was 11-of-24 from the field in recording his 23rd double-double of the season. He leads the Eastern Conference with 18 games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, including seven of his last 10.
Washington (22-23), which plays seven of its next eight games at home and opened a season-high five-game homestand Saturday is one victory shy of reaching the .500 mark for the first time since Dec. 6.
"It's going to happen one of these days," Arenas said of the elusive mark Jamison had declared as the Wizards' goal before the All-Star break. "That's how I look at it. Every time we get close, something else happens. We just have to keep fighting."
The Wizards led, 46-33, at the break, establishing a season low for points allowed in the first half. That defensive intensity was missing in the third quarter as Washington squandered nearly all of a 25-point lead.
Washington held a 66-41 advantage after a jump hook by Jamison with 6:26 left in the quarter. The Hawks closed the period on a 30-12 run and set a season high for third-quarter points with 38.
Rookie Marvin Williams made two free throws to pull Atlanta within 80-75 with 10:35 to go but the Hawks got no closer as they failed to establish a four-game win streak for the first time this season.
"It was a hard-fought game, but we gave them too much cushion and we couldn't really recover," Hawks forward Al Harrington said. "But our second unit in the third quarter played unbelievable. I wish we could've played them the whole second half."
Joe Johnson scored 16 points and former Wizards guard Tyronn Lue 14 for Atlanta, which failed to score more than 18 points in each quarter except the third and shot just 33 percent (24-of-72) overall.
"We had guys come off the bench who gave us some great productive minutes and they got us in position to win," Johnson said. "We just didn't have the energy down the stretch. The past few games, we've been coming up big in the fourth quarter, and tonight we just didn't have it."
"We fought back and exhausted ourselves trying to get back in the game," Hawks coach Mike Woodson added. "We've got to figure out how to play back-to-back. We've struggled with that all year."