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84


NBA Game Summary - Washington at Utah



(Thursday, March 24th)

Final Score: Washington 85, Utah 84

Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) - Larry Hughes scored 25 points and hit the go-ahead jumper with 46.4 seconds left to lift Washington to an 85-84 victory over Utah at the Delta Center.

Gilbert Arenas poured in a game-high 29 points and dished out six assists for the Wizards, who earned their second close victory over the Jazz in less than a week. Washington, which moved two games in front of Cleveland and Chicago for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, received 11 points and eight rebounds from Kwame Brown as well.

The Wizards recorded a 96-95 home victory over Utah on Saturday after Arenas sank two foul shots with 2.3 seconds remaining.

Matt Harpring finished with 18 points for the Jazz, who lost star forward Andrei Kirilenko with a broken wrist just over three minutes into the contest. Raja Bell contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds in the loss -- Utah's 10th in 11 games.

Kirilenko suffered the injury at the 8:58 mark of the opening period when he fell hard to the floor after driving the lane and becoming entangled with the Brown. X-rays taken in the locker room revealed the break, which will sideline the 2004 All-Star for the remainder of the season.

Hughes' 21-footer came just seconds after Gordan Giricek's runner gave the Jazz an 84-83 lead.

Giricek would then miss on the other end and Washington's Etan Thomas pulled down the rebound with 26 seconds to go. The Wizards whittled the clock down to six seconds, but Hughes was pick pocketed by Keith McLeod to give Utah a final chance at the win.

McLeod dribbled frantically down the court in the closing seconds, but his off-balance layup just prior to the final buzzer missed the mark.

Utah trailed 58-49 midway through the third quarter but outscored the Wizards 13-4 over a three-minute span to draw even. Harpring netted seven points during the surge, including a layup with 2:26 remaining in the period which knotted the score at 62-62.

The game was tied at 66-66 after three quarters, but Hughes drained a three- pointer to begin the fourth. The basket ignited an 8-2 run capped by Thomas' dunk with 9:56 left which put Washington up 74-68.

The Jazz would roar back and took a 78-76 lead on Howard Eisley's triple with 6:35 remaining, the culmination of a quick 7-0 spurt.

Arenas' second-chance layup with 3:10 to play put Washington on top 81-80. Utah forged back in front when McLeod hit an outside jumper with 1:39 left.

Two made free throws by Brown on the ensuing possession gave the Wizards their one-edge back, but Giricek's runner with 1:07 to go caused another lead change.

Behind 14 points from Arenas, Washington built a 21-16 advantage after one quarter and the lead reached eight after Hughes buried a three-pointer to start the second.

The Wizards maintained an eight-point cushion heading into the final three minutes of the first half, but Eisley's trey followed by a dunk by Mehmet Okur at the 1:36 mark brought Utah within 43-40.

Washington took a six-point lead into the break when Steve Blake hit a three- pointer with 21 seconds left.

Game Notes

Washington snapped a five-game losing streak in Salt Lake City and beat the Jazz for just the second time in their last 17 games as the visitor...Kirilenko, who missed 26 games with a sprained knee earlier this year, will play in just 41 contests this season...The Jazz fell to 5-24 against Eastern Conference teams...Washington had lost two straight and four of five on the road. The Wizards are now 13-20 away from home this year.

03/25 00:22:32 ET


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