- The Washington Times - Monday, January 29, 2007

BOSTON — Sebastian Telfair was once a New York City legend, supposedly the next great one in a long list of point guards from Gotham.

These days, Telfair has become little more than the Boston Celtics’ white flag — the player coach Doc Rivers summons into games when all is lost.

Telfair got the call last night with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter against Washington, signaling that the Wizards had sufficiently secured the Celtics’ 11th consecutive loss, 105-91. Washington used a 21-4 run late to put the game out of reach.

Antawn Jamison finished with 34 points on 13-for-22 shooting (including 4-for-8 from behind the 3-point line) to lead the Wizards (26-17) to their sixth win in their last seven games.

Jamison, who had his third 30-point performance in five games, once again took the pressure off Gilbert Arenas (23 points, six assists) and Caron Butler, who notched his team-high 18th double-double of the season with 21 points and 11 rebounds.

“You know me, it’s just a matter of time,” Jamison said. “I don’t know if it was the traveling [with the U.S. national team] over the summer, but I got off to a slow start. My teammates did an awesome job as far as holding down the fort. Now I feel good. But the most important thing is we’re starting to win basketball games.

“With me it was just a matter of time before I got in rhythm and started playing up to par. They’ve just been waiting on me to do the things that I do.”

The Wizards began their big run with 8:49 left in the fourth quarter. Holding an 80-76 lead, Arenas — who had a tooth knocked out late in the fourth quarter — split a pair of free throws. Shortly thereafter, Jamison made back-to-back 3-pointers to boost the Wizards.

“We didn’t want to let them hang around again,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “We know this team and that was to our benefit. We played them last week and they were tough. We knew that even though they’ve been struggling they were going to be a good matchup for us.”

Brendan Haywood added 11 points, nine rebounds and a pair of blocked shots for Washington, while DeShawn Stevenson had five assists and four points in 19 minutes. Stevenson’s minutes were limited because of a blow to his head.

“I’m all right but at the time it really, really hurt,” Stevenson said.

Delonte West, from Prince George’s County, led the Celtics (12-31) with 22 points and a season-high 11 assists. Ryan Gomes added 20 points and eight rebounds, and Gerald Green finished with 14 points for Boston, which is 4-17 at home this season — the worst such mark in the league.

The Wizards proved to be the better team for most of the night. Washington outrebounded Boston 51-28 and limited the Celtics to just 14-for-41 shooting in the second half and 39 percent overall.

The Wizards, who started the season 0-8 on the road, have won their last three away from Verizon Center. A win at Toronto on Wednesday would match their season-high road winning streak of four.

Wally Szczerbiak returned to the Celtics’ lineup last night, but Boston was without perennial All-Star forward Paul Pierce. Despite that, and the Celtics dismal record, Jordan told his team before the game Boston would not be an easy out. After all, it was those same injury-depleted Celtics who fought back from 21 down on Jan. 20 to take the Wizards to overtime before Washington ultimately won.

The Celtics have not won a game since beating Memphis on Jan. 5. The 11 straight losses is the most for Boston since dropping 13 in a row during the 1997-98 season.

Washington, which is 17-4 at home, plays seven of its next nine games at Verizon Center. The Wizards return home tomorrow to play the Pistons, whom they beat 99-96 on the road on Friday. Detroit leads the season series 2-1.

“We are feeling good and we’re playing good,” Jamison said. “We are having a lot of fun.”

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