Wizards 114, Hawks 90

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ATLANTA (AP)—Eddie Jordan knew it would take at least a year to turn the Washington Wizards into a winner.

Mike Woodson might be wondering how long it will take the Atlanta Hawks to experience a similar turnaround.

Larry Hughes scored 19 points and led seven players in double figures Friday night, helping the Wizards reach four games over .500 for the first time in four years with a 114-90 rout of the struggling Hawks.

“It’s about coming together,” said Jordan, who won 25 games last year in his first season. “You can’t do it in two months. It took us a year and we still have a long way to go.”

Jordan said he was proud to see his team deliver a knockout punch after leading 62-35 at halftime.

Washington, which never trailed, pushed its lead to 20 points for the first time with a 21-2 run in the first period. The Wizards’ biggest lead was 35 points, at 108-73.

In other games this year, the Wizards had relaxed after building big leads.

“We talked about coming out in the third quarter after having the lead,” Jordan said. “I like the growth. I see it.”

The Hawks’ eighth straight loss left them with their worst record (2-13) after 15 games since moving to Atlanta in 1968. The 2000-01 Hawks were 2-12 before winning their third game.

“It was one of those games where we just didn’t compete from the beginning to the end,” said Woodson, in his first season with Atlanta. “And that’s inexcusable. These guys get paid big money to play. … I’m sorry to the fans because that’s bull that these guys come out and not compete any better than that.”

Washington (9-5) had not been four games over .500 since Feb. 15, 2002, when it was 27-23. The Wizards have won six of seven games.

“We know the offense better,” said Wizards second-year forward Jarvis Hayes. “It was tough last year with a new coach, new system, new players. We didn’t know how to play with each other.”

The Hawks are attempting a similar rebuilding effort under Woodson. Boris Diaw is the only player on the active roster who began last season with the team.

Friday night’s effort was a low point for the Hawks.

“That was a nightmare,” veteran Kevin Willis said. “That was a team we should have beaten or at least been competitive against.”

The Wizards, meanwhile, played a complete game while committing only 11 turnovers and holding the Hawks to 43-percent shooting from the field.

“We take a lot of positives out of the streak we have right now, but we’ve got to continue to play defense, share the ball and just win,” Hughes said. “We know we won’t win all our games, but we want to minimize our opponents’ scoring, we want to share the ball.”

The balance on Washington’s roster was obvious as 10 players logged at least 20 minutes, but none played more than 28 minutes.

Juan Dixon scored 17 and Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas each added 13 for Washington.

The Wizards, second in the league in scoring, put up 100 or more points for the 10th time in 14 games.

The Wizards don’t rank among the league leaders in defense, but they have held four of their last six opponents to 90 or fewer points. They allowed the third-fewest points in franchise history in Wednesday night’s 95-68 win over New Jersey.

Atlanta set a season high with 26 turnovers, leading to 29 points for Washington.

“They were the more aggressive team,” said Antoine Walker, who led the Hawks with 26 points.

“We’ve got to get out of this losing streak. When you’re in an eight-game losing streak, everybody starts nitpicking.”

Al Harrington added 16 points for Atlanta. Josh Smith, with 11 points, was Atlanta’s only other scorer in double figures.

The Wizards led 62-35 at the half.


Atlanta F-C Kevin Willis appeared in his 1,400th career game. … Washington made 7 of 10 3-point shots in the first half. … Hawks C Peja Drobnjak returned after missing four games with a sprained right ankle. He scored two points in nine minutes.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
G. Arenas G. Arenas
4-7,  13 Pts
4 Rebs, 8 Assists
A. Walker A. Walker
8-23,  26 Pts
11 Rebs, 0 Assists

Team Stat Leaders