Wizards 103, Celtics 102

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WASHINGTON (AP)—Gilbert Arenas didn’t mind that it took an ugly victory to snap the Washington Wizards’ four-game losing streak.

“They didn’t say all wins in the NBA are pretty,” Arenas said after his two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining secured the Washington Wizards’ 103-102 victory over the Boston Celtics on Saturday night.

“I wasn’t going to miss those two.”

Arenas scored 31 points and Antawn Jamison added 24 points and eight rebounds for the Wizards, who blew a seven-point lead in the final 29 seconds.

“We will take them however we can get them,” said Caron Butler, whose two free throws gave Washington a 101-94 advantage with 29.4 seconds left.

Paul Pierce then made a 3-pointer off an inbounds play and Brian Scalabrine entered the game and promptly hit another 3 from the corner that pulled the Celtics to 101-100 lead with 21 seconds left.

“Before he took that 3, Scalabrine came over and said: ‘Get ready, it’s coming,”’ Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “And he made it, too.”

After Butler missed two free throws, Delonte West hit a jumper from the top the key that gave the Celtics a 102-101 lead with 9.7 seconds left. West had just missed a shot from virtually the same spot but Ricky Davis tipped the rebound back to him for a second opportunity.

“People were walking with their backs turned, walking out of the gym like the game was over,” said West, who nearly gave the Celtics only their fourth road victory of the season. “It always hurts to lose, no matter how it happens. It is even worse when you have made a major comeback.”

Arenas made the game-winning free throws after being fouled on a drive to the basket by Pierce.

“I just wanted to go out and get a foul,” said Arenas, who appeared to initiate contact on the play. “I am lighter than Paul Pierce.”

Celtics coach Doc Rivers didn’t like the call.

“I think my view was what everybody else’s view was—except for the right guy,” Rivers said. “He lost control of the ball. He kind of flung himself into the guy. It was too bad for us because it was a heck of a comeback.”

Ricky Davis missed a desperation heave at the buzzer.

“We kind of stole the game and let it slip away,” Scalabrine said.

Davis scored 24 points to lead the Celtics, who have lost six of their last eight games.

Pierce, who finished with 23 points, scored 11 in the fourth quarter but missed a 3-pointer and a jumper down the stretch. He also missed two of three free throws with 30 seconds remaining.

“We shouldn’t have put ourselves in that situation,” he said. “If we would have executed earlier in the game we wouldn’t have come to this, but I like how we didn’t give in late in the game when people were leaving the stands thinking the game was over.”

Butler added 20 points and Brendan Haywood grabbed 12 rebounds for the Wizards.

Following a thunderous baseline dunk by West, Pierce’s 3-pointer pulled the Celtics to 90-87 with 5:15 remaining.

Butler’s 3-pointer gave the Wizards an 88-80 lead with 8:14 left.

Antonio Daniels and Butler sparked the Wizards’ 11-2 run to close the third quarter. Arenas capped the spurt with a three-point play with 1.9 seconds remaining and Washington led 82-76 after three.

Celtics guards Davis and West combined to hit their first nine shots. Davis scored the Celtics’ first six points of the second quarter.

Davis made eight of his first nine shots and gave the Celtics a 42-35 lead with a layup late in the second quarter. West’s 3-pointer gave Boston its largest lead of the half at 49-41 with 1:45 remaining.

There were four lead changes and seven ties in the first quarter.


Wizards forward Jared Jeffries missed the game with a left-eye abrasion. … The Celtics, who lost to Atlanta on Friday night, are 2-6 in the second half of back-to-backs. … The Wizards had their seventh sellout of the season but many of the 20,173 arrived after the Washington Redskins’ NFL wild-card playoff victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
R. Davis R. Davis
10-16,  24 Pts
7 Rebs, 8 Assists
G. Arenas G. Arenas
7-18,  31 Pts
4 Rebs, 7 Assists

Team Stat Leaders