WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was surely inevitable that a game with five
technical fouls, 50 personal fouls, one ejection, a few thrown
elbows and loads of sheer frustration on both sides should be
decided by a pair of free throws with 2.3 seconds to play.
"It was physical. Refs were going both ways with it," Arenas
said. "At any point, they could have just kicked anybody out. ...
Players were giving each other cheap shots. We've seen it on the
film that they're a very physical team. We had to come out from the
beginning and be physical, too."
Arenas rallied from a scoreless and sulky start to score all 22
of his points in the second half. He was 0-for-4 with four
turnovers and three fouls at halftime and was pouting over every
call, but he scored the Wizards' last six points of the game and
finished with a colorful stat line: 5-for-16 from the field,
10-for-12 from the free throw line, eight rebounds, five assists,
two steals, seven turnovers and a technical foul for disputing a
non-call in the fourth quarter.
"It was tough," said Washington's Larry Hughes, who scored 21
points. "We didn't know what was a foul, what wasn't a foul, what
was a good play, what wasn't a bad play. It was just one of the
games where you had to tough it out and hope that things work out
in your favor at the end."
The lead changed hands four times over the final 90 seconds.
After Raja Bell hit a fadeaway 18-footer with 18 seconds remaining
to give the Jazz a one-point lead, Arenas dribbled down the clock
for the final shot and was fouled by Bell while driving the lane.
Arenas made the free throws, then Howard Eisley missed a contested
16-footer at the buzzer.
"I can't ever question the ref. He must've made the right call,
but the timing and the place of the call, it hurts," Bell said.
"Second guessing, maybe you don't reach in on him, but the ball
was right in front of me. I thought I made a good play on it."
Steve Blake added 15 points for the Wizards, making five of six
3-pointers, as Washington overcame a 12-point first-half deficit,
the team's 12th double digit comeback victory of the season.
The Wizards finished 11-4 at home against Western Conference
teams this season. They played their next five on the road, all
against West teams.
The Wizards played without Kwame Brown (flu), Anthony Peeler
(sore knee), Juan Dixon (sprained ankle) and Antawn Jamison (sore
knee) and gave three minutes of playing time to Damone Brown, who
was signed to a 10-day contract earlier in the day.
Andrei Kirilenko had 28 points, seven rebounds, six assists,
three steals and five blocks for the Jazz, who committed 18
turnovers as they wrapped up a fruitless five-game road trip. They
begin a seven-game homestand Tuesday against the Los Angeles
"I thought we played hard, but when you are playing tired and
you run out of energy, that is when you turn the ball over," coach
Jerry Sloan said.
Ben Handlogten, one of two Jazz players on 10-day contracts,
made his first career start in Utah's second lineup change in two
days. Kris Humphries moved into Matt Harpring's starting spot in
Friday night's loss at New Jersey. Utah has now used 21 different
starting lineups this season.
Down by a dozen in the second quarter, the Wizards rallied to
tie in a third quarter that included four technical fouls. Keith
McLeod got two and was ejected for throwing an elbow at Jared
Jeffries then shoving Jeffries after Jeffries punched the ball out
of McLeod's hands while play was stopped. Jeffries received a
technical as well, and Wizards coach Eddie Jordan picked one up
later in the quarter for arguing a no-call.
The Jazz lost for the 11th time this season when leading at
the start of the fourth quarter. ... Utah had three shot clock
violations in the first quarter. ... Brown was signed from the
Huntsville Flight of the NBDL. Interestingly, Brown was a star in
the most embarrassing loss during the two years Michael Jordan
played for the Wizards. Brown was one of three 10-day contract
players that helped lead Toronto to an 84-75 win over Washington on
Jan. 14, 2003. Jordan was so upset he refused to talk after the
game. ... Eddie Jordan said guard Dixon will miss at least another
week, while Kwame Brown missed his second straight game.