Jamison, Arenas Lead Wizards Past Bobcats
Washington 119, Charlotte 114
CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 14 (Ticker) -- Antawn Jamison put on an offensive show for the hometown fans and Gilbert Arenas did not let it go to waste.
Jamison scored a season-high 35 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and Arenas poured in 34 points as the Washington Wizards escaped with a 119-114 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
"It's always good to play so well when you have the family and friends come out and see you play," Jamison said. "It's always a good feeling."
"I think everyone is stepping up their play because they know the importance of these next 20 games," Jamison continued. "Let's be honest, though, when I play well and Gilbert and Caron (Butler) step up, we make it easier on ourselves and the team. It's me just upping the ante and leading by example, playing hard."
Arenas sank 11-of-19 shots and all 11 free throws while handing out seven assists for the Wizards, who avoided a collapse down the stretch to end a three-game road losing streak.
"We played consistent," Arenas said. "We made shots, we got stops at the right time and we got to the free-throw line. We really played smart basketball tonight."
Washington held a 110-99 lead with 3:42 remaining after Jamison's follow shot and baseline jumper before Charlotte made its charge. Jumaine Jones' 3-pointer sparked a 9-0 burst in which he tallied seven points to pull the Bobcats within 110-108 with 2:04 left.
"No one ever really puts (the Bobcats) away," Arenas said. "You can't put them away because they play so hard every night."
Arenas had a three-point play and layup around two free throws by Bernard Robinson for a 115-110 edge with 55 seconds to go.
"When in doubt and you need a bucket, just screen-and-roll me and Antawn and let them figure it out for themselves," said Arenas. "You've just got to pick your poison."
After Kareem Rush's foul shots cut the deficit to three points, Antonio Daniels hit two foul shots with 47 ticks left, then made a steal to help secure the win.
"We closed out two good quarters," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "We had some runs and we kind of absorbed their runs and we made the important free throws."
The Bobcats made just 64 percent (24-of-39) of their free throws and missed five in the final period.
"Everything in this basketball game was pretty much even, but they shot 33-of-39 (from the line)," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "Everything else was pretty much even. It gets down to the free-throw line and making the free throws. The opportunity was there. That's no indictment on anyone but ourselves for not making free throws. It ends up really being the difference in your basketball game."
Butler added 25 points and eight rebounds for Washington, which shot 52 percent (40-of-77).
Washington's starters scored 107 points, with the trio of Arenas, Butler and Jamison combining for 94.
"Gilbert driving the lane, Caron making some threes, Antawn making shots off the screen," Jordan said. "It was good that I have good players out there that can make shots and can get to the free-throw line. I wasn't happy with the way we handled their pressure."
The Wizards committed 18 turnovers, including back-to-back giveaways during the Bobcats' late push.
Jones scored 18 points to lead seven Charlotte players in double figures. Rookie Raymond Felton added 17 points and Gerald Wallace had 15 and five steals.
The teams square off again Wednesday night in Washington in the second game of a home-and-home series.