- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 22, 2008

CLEVELAND — The Washington Wizards picked a bad time to develop a cold shooting touch.

In Game 1 on Saturday, they missed 10 consecutive shots in the fourth quarter. Last night, they missed 11 of their last 12 shots in the first half of a 116-86 loss and now trail their first-round series with the Cleveland Cavaliers 2-0.

“Game 1 was us missing open shots,” Wizards forward Antawn Jamison said. “We were in the flow of the offense, moving the ball, being disciplined. We just didn’t convert offensively.

“Tonight we just played undisciplined basketball. We did lots of one-on-one, dribbling four or five times and shooting. This is a team you really have to move the ball and make them play both sides of the floor.”

The Cavaliers ended the first half with a 17-4 run to take a 53-40 halftime lead. The Wizards shot 36.8 percent in the second quarter, including their poor stretch to end the quarter.

“There isn’t any reason for it,” guard Antonio Daniels said. “Sometimes in basketball, sometimes the ball goes in. Sometimes it doesn’t. We’re getting great looks at the rim, and sometimes that ball will bounce your way, and sometimes it just won’t.

“Tonight we had great looks again. We had great looks again, and that’s the good thing about going home. You’re back to familiar territory. We’ll have the fans on our side. It’ll be a loud arena, so we can use that to our advantage.”

In the third quarter, the Wizards hit another lull after Brendan Haywood was ejected for a flagrant foul on LeBron James.

When the play occurred, the Wizard trailed 65-50 with 6:58 left in the quarter. For the rest of the period, Cleveland outscored Washington 21-13 for a 23-point lead.

Washington coach Eddie Jordan agreed with Jamison that last night’s scoring woes were because of a lack of discipline. The only time he felt the team executed the offense was when the reserves were in the game.

“We just lost our discipline,” Jordan said. “All the things we talked about for two days. I did a horrible job of keeping our guys in an organized fashion. Again, they beat us. We beat ourselves, and I did a horrible job of trying to keep our guys playing with intensity, discipline and organization.”

However, one of those reserves, Gilbert Arenas, had just seven points on 2-for-10 shooting. He had 24 points in Game 1.

Plus, Jamison and Caron Butler shot a combined 8-for-26, another reason the Wizards struggled to score. Butler and Jamison finished with 12 and nine points, respectively.

“When you have three scorers like we do, it’s easy for one of us or two of us to have a bad night,” Arenas said. “But when all three have a bad night, that never equals to a win. We’ve got to find a way to get each other open and get other people open.

“We have to come back to Washington and play. We have to make shots, and we have to play hard.”


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