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Jamison Goes for Drive, Wins It for the Wizards

Runner Comes With Four-Tenths of a Second Left: Wizards 95, Pacers 93

By Jon Krawczynski
Associated Press
Sunday, January 23, 2005; Page E01

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 22 -- Even without Larry Hughes, the Washington Wizards keep finding ways to win.

Antawn Jamison hit a driving layup with four-tenths of a second left to lift the Wizards to a 95-93 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.

Michael Ruffin has position on Jermaine O'Neal, who scored 38 points. Ruffin had as many rebounds (three) as O'Neal, but in 30 fewer minutes. (Tom Strattman -- AP)

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After Jermaine O'Neal gave Indiana a 93-91 lead with 39 seconds left, Gilbert Arenas hit a jumper and the Wizards forced a shot clock violation to get the ball back with 4.5 seconds to play.

Jamison, who finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds, took the ball at the top of the key, drove past two defenders and lofted a soft hook shot over O'Neal to give the Wizards their second straight win and offset a huge night from O'Neal.

O'Neal scored 12 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to shake the Pacers from their recent struggles in the second game of back-to-backs.

Arenas led the Wizards with 33 points and six assists, helping Washington to its second win in two nights without the injured Hughes.

Arenas picked up the slack for his back-court mate and had an answer for all of O'Neal's big shots down the stretch.

O'Neal gave the Pacers the lead twice in the final three minutes, and Arenas came back with jumpers both times, the last one coming with 28 seconds left to tie the game at 93.

Reggie Miller's desperation three-pointer at the buzzer was blocked by Brendan Haywood, giving the Wizards their ninth win in the last 11 games. Hughes has missed the last four games with a broken right thumb. He'll be out four to six weeks.

Haywood had 15 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks despite suffering bruised ribs in the third quarter and Anthony Peeler added a season-high 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting for the Wizards.

It was the same old story for the Pacers, who were coming off an impressive win at Miami on Friday night. But they fell to 4-9 in the second game of back-to-backs and have had a hard time putting consecutive strong efforts together.

They were right in it against the Wizards, who didn't arrive in Indianapolis until 1 p.m. on Friday after their flight was delayed due to bad weather in the Washington area.

Behind O'Neal, Indiana ripped off a 12-5 run to turn a five-point deficit into an 89-87 lead with under three minutes to play.

But Arenas and Haywood were too much down the stretch.

It was the seventh time this season that Arenas has topped 30 points, and came just two games after he scored a career-high 43 in a loss to Dallas.

After scoring 28 or more points in three straight games, Jamaal Tinsley had a rough night with 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting while battling foul trouble most of the night.

Notes: Pacers F Austin Croshere missed the game with a sinus infection. F Jonathan Bender did not play because of a sore right knee. . . . Wizards G Juan Dixon also missed the game with the flu. . . . Former Pacers C Rik Smits was honored at halftime. Queen Beatrix of Smits' native Netherlands awarded Smits with the Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau, the Dutch equivalent of the Medal of Honor, for his community service. . . . The Wizards' traveling media contingent did not make the game because of poor weather in the Washington, D.C. area.

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