NBA Game Summary - Washington at Orlando
(Wednesday, March 19th)
Final Score: Washington 87, Orlando 86
Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Antawn Jamison poured in 31 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had four steals, and the Washington Wizards kept pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race with an 87-86 win over the Orlando Magic, in a clash of Southeast Division foes.
Clinging to the 87-86 advantage with 33 seconds remaining, Washington let the shot clock wind down to under 10 seconds before Caron Butler drove toward the hoop and took to the air. He was met by Dwight Howard, who swatted the ball away, and the shot clock expired before either team claimed possession, resulting in a Wizards turnover and an opportunity for the Magic to come away with a win.
Taking over on the other end with just nine seconds on the clock, Hedo Turkoglu barreled through the paint and attempted an underhand scoop shot that went high off the glass. Butler cleaned up the rebound for Washington just before the buzzer sounded, and the Wizards escaped with the one-point win.
"I just really...didn't have a good shot," explained Turkoglu of his chance to win the game. "I (didn't) want to settle for a jumper because right before that, they fouled me. So I was going to go strong (to the basket), but the angle really wasn't what I wanted."
DeShawn Stevenson scored 14 points for the Wizards, who maintained their half- game lead over Philadelphia for the sixth playoff spot in the East after the Sixers topped Denver, 115-113, on Wednesday night.
Butler contributed 11 points, nine boards and four assists for Washington, which has triumphed in four of its last five outings. Brendan Haywood added 10 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks, helping the Wizards snap a three-game skid against the Magic.
Turkoglu celebrated his 29th birthday with a career-high 39 points for Orlando, though he missed key free throws down the stretch, shooting 2-for-4 from the line in the final minute of action.
Keith Bogans scored 14 points off the bench for Orlando, and Jameer Nelson provided 12 points, nine assists and five rebounds. Howard, meanwhile, was held under 10 points for just the third time all season, as he finished with just three points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field, though he did haul in 14 boards.
Said Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan of containing Howard: "We have Brendan (Haywood), who can match him eye-to-eye, which is pretty rare in this league. ... You can't stop him, I'm not saying (Haywood is) a stopper, but (Haywood) makes it tough for (Howard). Brendan did a great job in the paint for us."
Orlando had its five-game overall and four-game home win streaks erased. Washington, on the other hand, had dropped nine of 11 and 18 of the last 21 meetings at Amway Arena before Wednesday's win. The Wizards return to Orlando on April 16 for the final matchup between the clubs this season.
"I am not going to say too much right now, because (Orlando is) a great team," commented Stevenson. "I don't want to add any fire. ... We barely snuck it in tonight. It is good getting a win, but they are a talented ball club."
The Magic led by as many as 10 points in the opening quarter, but the Wizards closed the gap to 26-20 after 12 minutes of play.
When the squads headed into the locker rooms at halftime, Orlando held a 43-36 advantage.
Out of the break, Washington scored seven straight points to knot the score at 43-43, and finally took the lead when Jamison drained a jump hook at the 7:33 mark to give the Wizards a 51-50 edge. They had not been ahead since it was 6-4, just over three minutes into the game.
The teams went back-and-forth through the rest of the third quarter, totaling four lead changes, and entering the fourth, Orlando trailed, 67-65.
The clubs continued to trade blows through the entirety of the fourth quarter. With less than a minute to go, the Wizards were on top, 85-82.
The Magic slipped to 45-25, while the Wizards climbed to 34-33...Orlando fell to 2-1 during its current four-game homestand, which concludes Friday when Philadelphia visits Amway Arena, where the Magic are 22-13...Washington heads to Miami on Friday looking to improve its 14-18 road record...The loss was the first of the season for Orlando when allowing less than 95 points, dropping the Magic to 26-1 in such matchups.
03/19 23:52:31 ET