Originally created 11/29/06

Butler-led Wizards edge Hawks at end

WASHINGTON - Caron Butler's three-point play with 1:04 remaining helped the Washington Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks 96-95 on Tuesday night.

Butler scored 21 points and was perfect on 15 free throws to extend his streak to 32 in a row, dating to Nov. 15 against the New York Knicks. None was bigger than the one that ended the Wizards' four-game losing streak and bailed out backcourt mate Gilbert Arenas, who also had 21 points but committed nine turnovers.

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Reserve guard Tyronn Lue added 18 points for Atlanta.

Antawn Jamison had 18 points for Washington.

After Butler's three-point play, Lue hit a jumper that pulled the Hawks to 96-95 with 47 seconds left. Eleven seconds later, Lue drew an offensive foul on Arenas, who was whistled twice for charging in the final 1:29.

Josh Smith missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 15 seconds remaining and Johnson missed an 18-footer with 4 seconds left as the Hawks dropped their second in a row.

Antawn Jamison had 18 points for the Wizards, who have won nine of their last 10 games against the Hawks.

Lue's back-to-back 3-pointers pulled the Hawks to 93-91 with 5:01 remaining.

The score was tied at 76 after three quarters, but Jarvis Hayes' 3-pointer from the corner gave the Wizards an 87-80 lead with 8:05 left.

Butler scored eight of the Wizards' last 10 points of the third quarter, all on free throws. He entered the game having made 17 consecutive free throws.

Johnson's dunk off a backcourt steal and assist from Smith tied the game at 66 midway through the third quarter.

The Wizards shot 51 percent en route to a 55-49 halftime lead against the Hawks, who entered the game ranked fourth in the league for opposing teams' field-goal percentage at .432.


Both the Hawks and the Bobcats are playing the second night of back-to-back contests. Both teams' rosters are primarily comprised of young players, so fresh legs shouldn't be an issue.

What will be worth watching is how Atlanta fares against a new-and-improved Charlotte team, which features a bevy of former All-Americans such as Emeka Okafor, Sean May, Raymond Felton and rookies Ryan Hollins and Adam Morrison.

NEXT GAME: Charlotte Bobcats at Atlanta, tonight, 7

TELEVISION: Turner South



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