Now that they’re healthy again, the Washington Wizards are on a roll.
They go for their fourth straight victory Wednesday when they visit the stumbling Atlanta Hawks.
Washington (34-25) beat Toronto 129-109 on Tuesday, improving to 3-0 since Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler both returned from injuries. Jamison missed 12 games after spraining his left knee, and Butler sat out three with lower back spasms.
Jamison scored 25 points against the Raptors, improving his average to 21.7 since his return. Butler has averaged just 12 points in his three games back - nearly eight off his season average - but did pick up 20 points in Sunday’s 107-106 win over Golden State.
The current win streak began with a 93-92 victory at home over the Hawks (22-39) on Friday, in when Jamison scored 22 points and Gilbert Arenas added 19. The Wizards have won 10 of their last 11 meetings with the Hawks, with the only loss in that span a 114-111 defeat at Atlanta on April 7, 2006.
Arenas scored 25 points on 9-for-13 shooting Tuesday, his best performance from the field since another 9-for-13 effort in a Dec. 26 win over Memphis. He also made five 3-pointers, his most since Jan. 30.
“Ever since they popped my shoulder back in, my shot’s been feeling good,” said Arenas, who had his sore shoulder treated by a therapist last week.
Washington outrebounded Toronto 49-27 and outscored the Raptors 33-10 in second-chance points. The Wizards held star Toronto forward Chris Bosh a season-low one rebound.
“He had one rebound? Wow!” Arenas said. “Well, we were making shots. It’s hard to get rebounds when you’re making shots. He had one rebound, for real?”
Center Etan Thomas was excused from Tuesday’s game to attend to family matters and is not expected to travel with the team to Atlanta. However, center Brendan Haywood returned after missing the Warriors game with back spasms and had 10 points.
“From the beginning to the end, we had a real good air about us,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “A good personality about the game, a good attitude and approach, a chemistry, a togetherness, a comfort level. That’s the first time we’ve seen that for 48 minutes.”
The Hawks lost their sixth straight game Monday, falling 88-81 at Miami. Josh Smith and Anthony Johnson each had 16 points, while Joe Johnson only managed 12, 13 shy of his team-leading season average.
“I think that we pretty much lost it down the stretch on the defensive end,” Joe Johnson said. “We had a spurt where we were playing pretty good. At the end, we gave up some big shots and they made some big shots.”
Atlanta, which is opening a four-game homestand, is two defeats shy of its longest losing streak of the season, set Dec. 16-Jan. 5.