Posted Nov 30 2006 1:50PM
The Verizon Center is the only arena the Washington Wizards have been able to win at. The Charlotte Bobcats, meanwhile, have never earned a victory there.
After snapping a four-game losing streak in their last outing, the Wizards (5-9) look to continue their home dominance of the Bobcats (4-11) when they meet Friday night.
Washington improved to 5-2 at home with a 96-95 win over Atlanta on Tuesday night. The Wizards' skid included three losses on the road, where they are 0-7.
Charlotte, which is 2-6 on the road, has lost all four of its games at the Verizon Center. The Bobcats have lost three straight against the Wizards overall, and are 1-7 in the all-time series.
Charlotte rookie forward Adam Morrison has struggled on defense and he may be matched up with Washington's Caron Butler, who has scored 20 points or more in three straight games for the first time this season.
Butler converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:04 remaining, made all 15 of his free throws and finished with 21 points against the Hawks. He shot just 3-of-10 from the field, but extended his streak to 32 straight made free throws dating to Nov. 17 against Detroit.
``I am just trying to stay aggressive, trying to stay consistent,'' Butler said. ``My teammates are finding me in the flow, (and I'm) getting hacked and going to the foul line and just making shots.''
Butler tied the franchise record for made free throws in a game, held by several players. The last player to accomplish the feat was Gilbert Arenas, who also had 21 points against Atlanta but committed nine turnovers and was whistled twice for charging in the final 1:29.
``I just started having turnovers the last couple of games and I have been struggling for five games now,'' Arenas said. ``When you are aggressive, you are going to have turnovers. I am not paying attention to them because there will be some games where I have one or two and it all evens out in the end.''
Arenas is averaging 6.7 turnovers in his last three games.
Charlotte couldn't overcome the longest field-goal drought to open an NBA game this season, and began its comeback too late in a 99-90 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday night.
Even though his team was coming off an impressive 96-92 win at New Jersey on Tuesday night, Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff tweaked his starting lineup to play small - starting guard Raymond Felton instead of center Primoz Brezec.
The change didn't provide the early spark Bickerstaff wanted. The Bobcats were 0-for-13 from the field before a jumper by Sean May with 4:07 left in the first period.
Bickerstaff said his lineup change was not made for specific matchups against Atlanta.
Morrison, who had scored more than 20 points in three of his last four games, was held to six points on 2-for-10 shooting.
He also struggled on defense again as Atlanta's Joe Johnson scored 22 of his season-high 36 points in the second quarter at the expense of Morrison, who often was a step behind as he chased the Hawks veteran around the court.
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