Blatche, Wizards win in OT; Sonics beat Spurs, end slide

The Baltimore Sun

Andray Blatche did what any 21-year-old understudy might do after being told in the morning he would need to take over a starring role that night: He went home to rest up.

Relaxed and ready, Blatche did well filling in for an injured Caron Butler, with help from Antawn Jamison and others.

Blatche had 19 points and eight rebounds in only his second start of the season, and Jamison finished with 24 points and 20 rebounds last night to lead the host Washington Wizards to a 108-104 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors.

"I knew I had to bring it because Caron's are big shoes to fill," Blatche said. "After hitting my first shot, I knew I was going to be rolling."

Chris Bosh led the way with 37 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who trailed by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter. Anthony Parker's high-arcing three-pointer hit the net as the regulation buzzer sounded, forcing the extra period.

"A tough shot," Jamison said. "A phenomenal shot."

A bit stunned, the Wizards went to the sideline not with heads hung low, but yelling at each other that they were still going to win. And with Jamison scoring five points in overtime and DeShawn Stevenson making a big three-pointer, they did just that in a thrilling game.

"It was like a knockout punch to the head," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said, "and we stood our ground and kept our composure."

It was only Washington's fifth victory in 21 games without Butler over the past two seasons. The forward, like Jamison hoping to be among the All-Star reserves to be announced Thursday, strained his left hip flexor when he fell during an overtime loss in Milwaukee on Sunday.

So Butler was on the sideline in a suit and tie, high-fiving fans after Stevenson's fifth three-pointer of the game put the Wizards ahead 104-98 in overtime. Bosh answered with a three, but Jamison's tip-in put Washington back up 106-101. After Jason Kapono's three with 5.2 seconds to go pulled Toronto within 106-104, Antonio Daniels went 2-for-2 from the line with 4.9 seconds on the clock.

Already managing to play well without Gilbert Arenas since November, the Wizards simply carried on last night, with contributions from all over: Stevenson's 20 points, Daniels' 15, reserve Roger Mason Jr.'s 13 points and six assists, rookie Dominic McGuire's 10 rebounds.

SuperSonics 88, Spurs 85 -- Kevin Durant scored 26 points, including the go-ahead jump shot with 32.6 seconds remaining, and host Seattle stunned defending NBA champion San Antonio to end a team-record losing streak at 14 games. Luke Ridnour hit a free throw with 12 seconds left before Manu Ginobili, who had 29 points, missed a leaning three-pointer with 4.9 seconds remaining that would have tied the game.

Nets 87, Bucks 80 -- A day after asking to be traded, Jason Kidd scored seven of his nine points in the final 1:42 and added 11 assists as host New Jersey ended a nine-game losing streak. The Nets held the Bucks to 37.5 percent shooting.

Pistons 110, Pacers 104 -- Rasheed Wallace had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and visiting Detroit won its third straight, over Indiana.

Celtics 117, Heat 87 -- Leon Powe scored a career-high 25 points with 11 rebounds as host Boston coasted past Miami.

Bulls 96, Timberwolves 85 -- Kirk Hinrich finished with 27 points after a rough start as host Chicago beat Minnesota.

Rockets 111, Warriors 107 -- Yao Ming scored eight of his 36 points in the final 2 1/2 minutes and had 19 rebounds as Houston held to beat visiting Golden State.

Suns 125, Hawks 92 -- Amare Stoudemire scored 22 of his 24 points in the first half and host Phoenix went on to rout Atlanta.



Jason Kidd's point total last night as the disgruntled star helped the Nets end a nine-game losing streak.

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