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With Playoff Berth In Reach, Defense Lets It Slip Away

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Wizards held an 11-point lead in the third quarter last night and all they had to do was play some defense and hold off the lottery-bound Milwaukee Bucks to clinch a playoff spot.

They couldn't do it. The Bucks scored 32 points in the fourth quarter and nine points in the final 2 minutes 42 seconds, including the game-winning jump shot by Ramon Sessions as time expired to steal a 110-109 victory. Milwaukee, a 44.6 percent shooting team this season, shot 54.8 percent last night.

The Wizards, who allow 98.7 points per game, were coming off the season's worst defensive effort in a 129-87 loss at Utah Monday night.

"Our defensive rotations have been slipping the last couple of weeks and now we are starting to let games slip away because of it," center Brendan Haywood said. "Somehow, we have to tighten up and start taking defense seriously again. It's not good enough to just score the ball."

VP Still Onboard

Tommy Sheppard, the Wizards' vice president of basketball administration, has been mentioned in published reports as a possible candidate to be the next general manager of the Bucks. As of yesterday afternoon, however, the Bucks had not sought permission to interview him, according to a league source.

UP NEXT Tomorrow vs. Heat8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Saturday at Bulls8:30 p.m. WDCW-50, WTEM-980 UP NEXT Tomorrow vs. Heat8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet, WTEM-980 Saturday at Bulls8:30 p.m. WDCW-50, WTEM-980

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