The Wizards appeared headed for yet another divisional victory, but came thundering back with a strong third quarter and hung on for the victory. As gutsy a performance was put on by the Wizards, they also got some help from an underachieving Charlotte squad. Just two weeks ago, the Bobcats were on a six-game winning streak. A week ago they were a game back in the fight for eighth place and the final playoff spot in the East. But tonight, the Bobcats couldn’t protect a 20-point first-half lead over an eight-man squad with just 16 wins.
Antawn Jamison led the way with 27 points, a crucial last-second rebound and then a free throw. But Nick Young also stepped up in a big way, shrugging off the disappointment of getting relegated again to a reserve role, and scoring 23 points. His 13-point second-quarter helped the Wizards get back in the game, and his eight fourth-quarter points helped them reclaim a lead they never relinquished. But one of his most impressive plays was a block on Boris Diaw in the paint with 59 seconds left. Had Diaw made the putback, Charlotte would’ve cut the score to 91-89 at that point.
Very happy to see Dominic McGuire score tonight. With a tip-in with 2:06 left in the third, McGuire gave the Wizards a 69-65 lead and also ended a 116-minute personal scoring drought. The second-year swingman, who has started the last 47 games but is called on mostly for his defensive skills, last scored on March 20 against Denver, but went the next 20 minutes of that contest without scoring again. He then failed to score in the next two games and entered Wednesday night’s contest with an 84-minute drought going. In his last two games, McGuire logged 64 minutes without scoring. The longest previous stretch in back-to-back games, according to Elias Sports Bureau was 66 minutes posted by the Nets’ Jason Collins from Feb. 25-27, 2007 and Horace Grant of the Magic from Nov. 24-26, 2001.
The Wizards won’t practice tomorrow but will return to the courts on Friday in preparation for Saturday’s game against Detroit, which is supposed to be Gilbert Arenas’ comeback party. Keep your fingers crossed Wizards fans.
Said Jamison: “I can’t comment until I see Agent Zero coming out of that tunnel. Everything’s been going pretty well, he looks phenomenally well, so… It’s like a dream, man. I’m not going to say it’s reality until I start pinching myself and see him out there. But just in practice, just the way he makes the game so easy. I can’t wait for him to get back out there so I can get some open jump shots because it’s been a while. I know for him, he’s excited. For us as a team, he’s the most important piece of this puzzle. He makes this team go, and it’s good for him to get a dress rehearsal, test the knee, see how it goes. And the most important thing for us is to move toward the future and put all this negativity behind us.”