Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 3/19

Game 1: Saturday, March 19th
Jazz95Final
Wizards96
Game 2: Thursday, March 24th
Wizards85Final
Jazz84

Jazz 95

(20-46, 7-28 away)

Wizards 96

(36-28, 24-9 home)

Coverage: FSRM

7:00 PM ET, March 19, 2005

Verizon Center, Washington, DC

1 2 3 4 T
UTAH 22 26 22 2595
WSH 23 17 28 2896

Top Performers

Utah: A. Kirilenko 28 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 3 Stl, 5 Blk

Washington: G. Arenas 22 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

Arenas scores all of his 22 in second half

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.

Gilbert Arenas hit both shots, giving the Washington Wizards a 96-95 victory Saturday night and sending the Utah Jazz to their ninth straight loss.

"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 Lakers.

"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.

Game notes


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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
UTAH
WSH
Points 95 96
FGM-FGA 33-63 (.524) 31-71 (.437)
3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 9-18 (.500)
FTM-FTA 27-36 (.750) 25-32 (.781)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-31 15-39
Assists 27 15
Turnovers 18 20
Steals 11 5
Blocks 7 3
Fast Break Points 14 20
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (3/0) 26 (4/0)
Largest Lead 12 4

Top Performers

Utah
Washington
Andrei Kirilenko Kirilenko
Points: 28
Reb: 7
Ast: 6
Stl: 3
Blk: 5
Gilbert Arenas Arenas
Points: 22
Reb: 8
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 0