NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Washington
(Sunday, April 16th)
Final Score: Washington 104, Cleveland 92
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Gilbert Arenas scored a game-high 35 points to lead the Washington Wizards to the playoffs with a 104-92 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Verizon Center.
Caron Butler netted 21 points and also grabbed eight rebounds while Antawn Jamison had 16 points and 11 boards for the Wizards, who snapped a five-game losing streak.
The Wizards moved one game in front of the idle Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Washington's win eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers from playoff contention.
LeBron James returned to the lineup with a team-high 17 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost two of their last three contests. James missed Thursday's game with a sprained left ankle. Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Flip Murray each scored 14 points in the loss.
Drew Gooden's layup evened the score at 12, but the Wizards responded with a 13-5 run to close the first quarter with a 25-17 edge. Jamison's trey began the streak and Arenas closed the surge with a pair of buckets.
A pair of Anderson Varejao free throws narrowed the gap to 29-25, but Washington countered with a 20-9 spurt, capped by Jamison's finger roll, to take a 49-34 lead.
Larry Hughes' three-point play cut the lead to 50-41, but Jamison's long distance jumper with the clock running down gave the Wizards a 53-41 advantage at the break. Jamison and Arenas combined to score 30 of Washington's first- half points.
Hughes drained the first three buckets of the third period to pull the Cavs within 53-47, but Washington reeled off a 17-6 run, including nine points from Arenas, to push the score to 70-53.
James' layup cut the deficit to 70-55, but the Wizards closed the stanza with an 18-7 burst highlighted by Butler's three-pointer with the time running down, and held an 88-62 margin heading into the final frame.
The Cavaliers began the fourth quarter with a 21-4 rally as Washington missed its first eight shots from the floor. Varejao netted eight during the surge and closed the deficit to 92-83 with 4:19 to play. However, that was as close as Cleveland got.
Each team shot 46 percent from the floor...Cleveland won the rebounding battle, 46-38...The Wizards play the Bucks on Tuesday and close the season at Detroit on Wednesday...The Cavs play at Boston on Monday before ending the season at home against Atlanta on Wednesday...Washington has won five of the last six meetings...Cleveland has lost three straight and seven of its last eight in Washington...Hughes and Varejao each finished with 11 points.
04/16 20:45:24 ET