- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2008

LOS ANGELES — The Wizards ended their worst losing streak in seven years last night by defeating an opponent in worse shape.

But the Wizards needed Antawn Jamison’s tip-in with four-tenths of a second left to escape Staples Center with a 91-89 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in front of an announced crowd of 17,144.

The victory not only was the Wizards’ first after eight consecutive defeats. It also broke a nine-game road losing streak and marked their first victory against the Clippers in Los Angeles since the 2003-04 season.

“We were very satisfied on this trip,” coach Eddie Jordan said, despite a 1-3 mark on the West coast swing.

“We’ve been very fortunate that our players have played very, very well, very hard,” Jordan said. “We talked in pregame that we’ve done everything pretty much everything we can do but win.”

The Clippers not only have 12 fewer victories than the Wizards but they also have major injuries. Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston have missed the entire season because of a torn left Achilles tendon and a dislocated left knee, respectively.

But the Clippers, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, forced an 89-89 deadlock when Corey Maggette made two free throws with 26 seconds to play.

After a timeout, Jamison inbounded the ball to Antonio Daniels, who drove the lane with six seconds remaining for an off-balance jump shot that missed from 10 feet.

Darius Songaila tried a one-handed tip-in that also missed but Jamison’s deflection put the Wizards ahead and gave the All-Star forward 29 points.

“Just being quick off my feet, I was really able to get up there quick and really not have to come back down,” Jamison said of his winning basket. “If I had to come back down with [the ball] and go back up, time would’ve expired.”

The Clippers’ Tim Thomas inbounded the ball with three-tenths of a second to play but his pass from the right sideline sailed across the court and out of bounds.

Brendan Haywood added 15 points and nine rebounds while rookie Dominic McGuire contributed 12 rebounds in 24 minutes.

Daniels made his first start since suffering severe pain in his right ankle Feb. 8 against Denver.

The veteran point guard had four points, three rebounds, three assists while playing the first 9:38 of the first quarter before finishing with nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 46 minutes.

That first-quarter stretch was “the tiredest I’ve been all year,” Daniels said. “I was actually dizzy. I haven’t felt like that since conditioning in college. But I got a good chance to side down and get my wind back.”

But Caron Butler, who strained his left hip flexor, missed his sixth consecutive game and will not play in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, though “he’s going to make the trip,” Jordan said.

“He knows and understands that to go another five days with rest and rehab can help us and help him tremendously,” Jordan said.

The Clippers took early leads of 6-0 and 11-4 before the Wizards used a 14-0 blitz to move ahead 18-11 with 3:28 left in the first quarter.

After missing eight of their first 10 field-goal attempts, the Wizards made 10 of 16 the rest of the first quarter. The visitors also made six steals in forcing eight turnovers that resulted in eight points, while committing just one turnover.

Los Angeles narrowed the deficit to 25-19 after 2:31 of the second quarter but Daniels scored five points in a 7-0 spurt that extended the Wizards’ lead to 33-19 with 7:20 left in the first half.

Daniels ended the spurt by making a steal, driving the length of the court for a layin, getting fouled by Al Thornton in the process and converting the ensuing free throw.

Los Angeles rallied behind an 8-1 surge to take a 60-59 lead with 40.5 seconds left in the third quarter. But Andray Blatche’s turnaround jump shot with 23.5 seconds remaining put the Wizards ahead 61-60 going into the fourth quarter.

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