- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2006

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison is building a bigger-than-life house in the Charlotte area, where he is from.

But last night in front of 13,721 of his future neighbors — including parents Albert and Kathy — Jamison transformed Charlotte Bobcats Arena into his own place, totaling 35 points and 16 rebounds in a 119-114 victory over the Bobcats.

Jamison, with his parents seated four rows behind the Wizards, got the Wizards going early. Gilbert Arenas, who scored 19 of his 34 points in the second half, helped close the Bobcats out.

Washington (32-30) also got 25 points from Caron Butler.

Raymond Felton led the Bobcats (18-47) with 17 points.

The Wizards led 100-89 late in the fourth quarter and appeared to have the game under control. But the Bobcats battled back and cut the lead to two at 110-108 when Bernard Robinson sank a bucket with just more than 2:00 left.

Arenas responded by converting three-point play for a 113-108 lead.

Robinson pulled the Bobcats to within 113-110 when he sank a pair of free throws with 1:10 left.

Up 115-112, Antonio Daniels sank two free throws with 47.8 seconds left for a for a five-point lead. And after a Charlotte timeout, the Bobcats lost the ball and Daniels extended the Wizards’ lead with a pair of free throws at 41.3.

For Jamison it was his 31st double-double of the season and an Eastern Conference-leading 26th game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

In their first appearance at the new arena earlier this season, the Wizards played as poorly as they have at any point in the season.

Following a stirring double-overtime victory the night before in Detroit, the Wizards plain landed in the wee hours of the morning in Charlotte, and when the Wizards showed up for the game they looked as if they left all their desire on the runway.

Wallace, who along with former Wizard Brevin Knight has been one of the second-year franchise’s two best players, contributed 26 points and 14 rebounds and the Bobcats sent the Wizards limping home, 100-82.

The teams played evenly in the first quarter of last night game and it was reflected in 26-24 lead the Wizards had after one period.

Charlotte stayed right with the Wizards for most of the second quarter. However, the Wizards looked to assert themselves at the end of the quarter and did just that.

After Robinson cut a 48-45 lead to one point on a reverse layup with just over 2:00 left in the half, Washington snapped to life.

Butler started it when he converted a three-point play for a 51-47 lead. Arenas sank a pair of free throws, Jamison scored on fast-break lay-up, and Butler extended the Wizards’ lead to 57-47 when he swished home a 19-foot jumper with a little more than 1:00 left in the half.

The game saw the return to the lineup of starting off guard Jared Jeffries. Jeffries, who missed the team’s last three games with a strained left calf, returned to the starting lineup and finished with five points in 23 minutes.

Jeffries return sent Daniels back to the bench. This did not, however, prevent Daniels from playing the bulk of the minutes available in the backcourt. Daniels, who came into last night’s game having scored in double digits in five straight, finished with seven points.

At this point in the season it is an unimpeachable fact that the Wizards will open their most crucial home stand of the season tonight in their final game against the Bobcats. It is a four-game home stand that will see Dallas, Chicago and New Jersey visit Verizon center.

When this stretch of four games is over the Wizards will be in a sink-or-swim position with 16 games left. Of those 16, just four are at home.

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