Hawks Beat Wizards, 111-90

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

ATLANTA, Feb. 10 -- Maybe President Obama can come up with a stimulus package to help the Washington Wizards.

After all, if there is one thing that politicians on either side of the aisle should be able to agree upon it's this: the Wizards, who dropped to 11-41 with a 111-90 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on Tuesday night, need some serious help.

Just two days after Caron Butler's buzzer-beating jumper delivered a thrilling home win over the Indiana Pacers, the Wizards reverted to form, losing for the ninth time in 11 games and once again failing to build momentum from a rare win.

The Wizards have won consecutive games once all season and had any chance of doing it again squashed during a sloppy stretch of the second quarter in which the Hawks (30-21) built a 22-point lead that was never seriously threatened.

"We just continue to dig ourselves into holes we can't get out of," said Antawn Jamison, who posted his 250th career double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. "We don't know how to be patient and play basketball the way it should be played and it showed up again tonight."

If that wasn't bad enough, the team's flight from Atlanta to Charlotte for Wednesday's game against the Bobcats was delayed because the plane broke down.

Joe Johnson led Atlanta with 22 points and eight assists and had five teammates finish in double figures.

Butler led the Wizards with 22 points and eight rebounds while rookie center JaVale McGee came off the bench to score 18 points and grab 11 rebounds in 26 minutes.

The Wizards played hard but were out of sync offensively and consistently a step behind on defense. Atlanta shot only 45.9 percent but attempted a whopping 98 shots to Washington's 74 and turned 17 Wizards turnovers into 20 points. The Hawks also connected on 10 of 26 three-point attempts while the Wizards finished 2 of 13 from long range.

The night was summarized by one stretch of the second period, as the Hawks blew the game open with a 16-0 run that turned a 31-25 contest into a 47-25 blowout.

During one stretch of that Hawks run, Washington's possessions went like this: Juan Dixon missed consecutive jump shots, the Wizards had a 24-second violation, Darius Songaila drove and threw the ball into the front row, Javaris Crittenton missed an off-balance runner, Dixon missed another jumper and then Dixon turned the ball over when he lost it after running into Songaila, who was trying to set a screen. The Hawks raced the other way for an easy score while Songaila left the game with an injured arm and did not return.

The image of two Wizards colliding, causing a turnover and leading to one of them leaving the game injured, pretty much summarizes the entire season.

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