NBA Game Summary - Washington at Atlanta
(Sunday, November 11th)
Final Score: Washington 101, Atlanta 90
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Caron Butler had a game and season-high 24 points to go with eight assists, to lead the Washington Wizards to their first win of the season, 101-90, over the Atlanta Hawks.
Antawn Jamison scored 23 points and added 15 rebounds, as every member of Washington's starting five scored in double-figures. Brendan Haywood also added 13 points and 12 rebounds, as the Wizards prevented the first 0-6 start to a season in franchise history.
Marvin Williams led Atlanta with 20 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, though the Hawks lost their second in a row. Josh Smith had a team-high 23 points, and Joe Johnson scored 22.
For a team that hadn't won a game this season, the Wizards did an awfully good job on Sunday. Washington never trailed, as Gilbert Arenas made a jump shot 37 seconds in the game.
"It felt great to finally get the first win. It's like getting King Kong off your back," Butler said. "Now that we've got it, I think the momentum's in our favor."
Johnson tied the game at 2-2, but Haywood's layup just over a minute into the first quarter gave Washington the lead for good.
The game was still close through the first quarter, when Washington's largest lead came on Haywood's hook shot with three minutes left, making the score 24-16. But Atlanta battled back to make the game a 26-23 affair at the end of the stanza.
Washington began to build its lead again in the second quarter, putting Atlanta in a double-digit hole in the final two minutes. With 52 seconds left, Arenas made a layup to make the score 48-38, and made 1-of-2 free throws at the half to send the Wizards into the break ahead, 51-40.
After halftime, Atlanta came out slowly, and made just six field goals in the third quarter. Overall, the Hawks shot just 39 percent from the field. Washington wasn't much better, shooting 43.2 percent, but did make 88 attempts to Atlanta's 77.
"It's just a lack of defense, lack of effort," Williams said. "Obviously those guys have great players over there. We didn't defend very well at all tonight, so it's on us."
But it was enough, as Washington threatened to make the game a blowout late in the third, going ahead by 15 with 3:53 left, and 17 with just over three minutes remaining. Butler made a layup after Andray Blatche missed a dunk to put the score at 73-56.
Atlanta did whittle down the Wizards' lead in fourth-quarter play, as the Hawks' made the score 90-85 with less than four minutes to go. But Atlanta came no closer, making just two shots in the final 3:30 to ensure the Washington win.
"This is the first time that the offense came together for 48 minutes," Washington head coach Eddie Jordan said. "We needed this win in the worst way."
Atlanta's normal starting center, Zaza Pachulia, played in his first game since missing the first five with a sprained left knee. He had two points in 6:42 of game action...Washington will try for two wins in a row on Wednesday, when it hosts Indiana...Josh Childress had 10 points off the bench for the Hawks.
11/11 17:33:50 ET