WASHINGTON (AP) -- Earl Boykins made an improbable 11-foot runner with 16 seconds left and was engulfed in the arms of teammate Bob Sura, who picked up the 5-foot-5 guard like a kid brother and carried him 15 feet down the court in celebration.
There was no stopping Boykins in the fourth quarter Friday
night. He scored nine of his 16 points in the final period to lead
the Golden State Warriors to a 104-99 victory that snapped the
Washington Wizards' five-game winning streak.
"We were kind of struggling for points, and he did what he always does,'' Warriors coach Eric Musselman said. "We're not calling any plays. It's just the Earl Boykins play. Just dribble around, do what you want, find a seam in the defense, go ahead and throw one up -- left-handed, right-handed, falling down, whatever.''
Gilbert Arenas scored 22 points, Troy Murphy had 15 points and a
career-high 17 rebounds, and Golden State embarrassed Washington on the offensive boards.
But it was Boykins who was in charge down the stretch. The smallest player in the NBA shot 7-of-10 -- mostly from impossible angles after contorting his body through the paint -- and added four assists in 20 minutes for the Warriors, who have won six of their last eight.
"Take nothing from him,'' said Wizards guard Larry Hughes, the defensive victim of Hughes' final basket. "When you have quickness and the ability to shoot the ball, nobody can tell you you can't do anything. He got it done tonight. He hit a big shot over me -- or under me -- late.''
Jerry Stackhouse scored 26 points for the Wizards, who lost to a team with a losing record for the first time since Nov. 23.
Hughes had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Washington. Michael Jordan, who missed two practices this week with a virus, had 14 points and five assists.
In a game in which neither team led by more than six, the
Warriors stayed competitive by controlling the boards. They had a
48-34 rebounding advantage, with 23 offensive boards. Murphy and
Adonal Foyle combined for 12 offensive rebounds, two more than the
entire Wizards team.
A game of constant up-and-down scoring suddenly went dry with 2:22 to play and the Warriors ahead by one. The Wizards missed several chances to take the lead, the last coming when Charles Oakley drew an offensive foul.
Musselman then called a rare designed play for Boykins, who hit the 11-footer over Hughes to put the Warriors up 102-99.
"I really did not know what I was going to do until I heard (Washington coach) Doug Collins tell him to back up,'' Boykins said. "I knew he was on his heels. I ran at him full speed and out-quicked him.''
The Wizards called timeout as Sura and Boykins celebrated.
"I just got a little excited,'' Sura said. "He's been playing great for us, making a lot of big shots in the fourth quarter. Those kind of awkward shots are shots that he makes consistently. People that don't see him that often think they're lucky, but he really makes those shots.''
Jordan then missed a driving layup in traffic at the other end, and Arenas hit two free throws for the final margin.
The Wizards led 51-49 after a fast-paced first half that included 13 offensive rebounds by the Warriors and three incredible shots in a crowded paint from Boykins. Murphy had a double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) in the half, and his 12 rebounds were one more than Washington's entire front court.
Stackhouse was 4-for-5 in the third quarter, but the Warriors
kept pace with a 13-3 rebounding advantage in the period and
trailed 81-80 headed into the fourth.
The Wizards activated first-round draft pick Juan Dixon,
who had been on the injured list since Dec. 2 with a sprained
elbow. Forward Brian Cardinal was placed on the injured list with
left knee tendinitis. ... Wizards center Jahidi White could miss
the entire season recovering from knee surgery. It was thought
White would miss a month or so when he had the surgery in August,
but he is struggling with mobility and fitness. Coach Doug Collins
said before Friday's game that he has no time frame for White's
return. ... The Wizards had a season-high 11 blocks.