WASHINGTON (AP)—A trip to the nation’s capital was just what the Atlanta Hawks needed to end a nine-game road losing streak.
“We know that they’re looking at us like that and that’s how we’re looking at them,” Abdur-Rahim said. “I’m sure both of us are looking at each other the same way. We’re trying to get healthy off each other.”
Stephen Jackson scored 16 points, Jason Terry added 13 and Dion Glover 10 for the Hawks, who hadn’t won on the road since beating Milwaukee 101-93 on Nov. 18. Jackson also had a season-high five steals.
Gilbert Arenas, who missed 14 of the Wizards’ last 15 games with an abdominal injury, was activated for the game and shot 3-for-10 in the first quarter. He finished with 14 points on 5-for-19 shooting, three assists and four turnovers.
“I knew it was going to be a rough one for me, trying to get the timing that I had before,” Arenas said.
The Wizards, who tied a franchise record for fewest wins in December with two, made only two field goals and had a goaltending bucket in the final quarter, in which they shot 3-for-17.
“This is certainly a test of wills that carries over to my personal life,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “It’s a test of professionals, individuals and us as a team. We just didn’t seem to be a team tonight like we have been through most of the season.”
Hughes scored nine of his points in the third quarter to get the Wizards in contention. But after Brendan Haywood’s two free throws pulled Washington to 64-60, Juan Dixon replaced Hughes and the Wizards failed to convert a bucket for the next 9:04.
Steve Blake replaced Arenas to begin the second quarter and sparked Washington with two assists during a 10-3 run to pull the Wizards within 38-31.
Jordan knew it would be difficult to mesh Arenas back into the lineup.
“It wasn’t because of Gilbert,” he said. “It is just where we are as a team and where we are as individuals.”
Theo Ratliff and Jackson scored four points as the Hawks took a 17-5 lead by making eight of their first nine shots, mostly uncontested layups.
“Atlanta was really on our stuff—they knew what we were doing,” Jordan said. “They were hungry.”
Abdur-Rahim’s dunk gave Atlanta a 27-7 lead with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
The Hawks, who made 12 of their first 13 shots, led 35-10 after the first quarter. It was their highest-scoring opening quarter this season, eclipsing the 32 points they scored three times.
“It shocked the heck out of them,” Terry said of the Hawks’ opening flourish. “They were surprised, but we’re wild dogs in there fighting because we’re in the cellar. That’s the only way you can go out and play at this pointin the season.”
The Hawks’ next five games are against Western Conference teams with winning records: Minnesota, Denver, Sacramento, Los Angeles Lakers and Utah. … The Hawks are 4-14 away from home and tied with Cleveland for the most roadlosses in the league.