- The Washington Times - Friday, October 21, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gilbert Arenas scored 24 points, Chucky Atkins and Jared Jeffries each had 18, and the Washington Wizards scored the first nine points of overtime in a 96-89 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats last night.

Atkins and Caron Butler, who were traded to Washington by the Los Angeles Lakers in August for Kwame Brown and Laron Profit, won in their return to Staples Center. Butler had three points and fouled out with 1:36 left in the fourth quarter.

Raymond Felton led Charlotte with 12 points and 10 assists, and Emeka Okafor had 13 rebounds and eight points. Okafor and Jeffries fouled out of the opener of the NBA exhibition doubleheader.

The Bobcats, who forced a combined 51 turnovers during their previous two games against Atlanta and Miami, converted 26 Washington turnovers into 26 points. Charlotte center Primoz Brezec, who missed the previous three games because of a bruised right shin, had 10 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes.

The Wizards pulled away with a 19-footer by Atkins and two dunks 24 seconds apart by Jeffries.

Atkins’ 3-pointer with 4:46 left in regulation put the Wizards ahead 77-76, their first lead since late in the first quarter. The Bobcats led by four with 1:36 to play, but Atkins hit another 3, and Jeffries made one of two free throws to tie the score 85-85 with 32 seconds left in the fourth.

Charlotte had a chance to avoid overtime, but Kareem Rush, who sat out the final 31/2 quarters of Monday’s game because of a bruised left shoulder, had his shot blocked by Michael Ruffin with 15 seconds on the clock.

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