<
>

Hughes led the Wizards with 26

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Juan Dixon finds the hardest part about coming
off the bench is never knowing when he'll play.

It didn't seem to hurt his game Sunday.

The reserve guard scored all 15 of his points in the fourth
quarter, leading the Washington Wizards to a 104-101 victory over
Atlanta for the Hawks' fourth straight loss.

"It's tough sitting there on the bench, but you have to stay
prepared and be in the right mind-set," said Dixon, who scored 15
points in 14 minutes after playing only 33 minutes in the previous
five games. "You never know when your number is going to be
called. I cheered the guys on in the first half, then I had to go
out there and be aggressive and make plays."

Larry Hughes led the Wizards with 26 points while Antawn Jamison
added 19 and Gilbert Arenas 17 for Washington, which had lost its
previous two games.

"Juan played great," Hughes said. "He came in aggressive and
took good shots. He definitely was the difference."

Antoine Walker, who finished with 18 points, hit a 3-pointer to
pull the Hawks to 102-101 with 3.1 seconds left. Jamison's two free
throws with 2.2 seconds remaining sealed the victory.

Tony Delk led the Hawks with 19 points and Tyronn Lue added a
season-high 16 against his former team. Al Harrington finished with
14 points and 11 rebounds.

Walker's 3-pointer drew the Hawks to 99-96 with 33.5 seconds to
go. After Hughes made the first of two free throws, Lue's reverse
layup pulled the Hawks to 100-98 with 22.8 seconds left.
Harrington's dunk made it 93-89, but Hughes answered with a
3-pointer for the Wizards.

"We ran out of time," Harrington said. "We played hard for
the most part of the game -- the last minute we really turned it up.
If we could have done that with four minutes to go we would have
probably came out on top."

Walker said that's been the story of the Hawks' season.

"We've played good basketball and put ourselves in position to
win but for whatever reason we don't make a shot or we turn it
over," he said. "But at 5-24, moral victories don't matter. We're
playing well enough to win games but it's unfortunate that we keep
coming up on the short end of the stick."

After Predrag Drobnjak gave Atlanta a 79-78 lead with 9:30
remaining, Dixon scored 10 of Washington's next 12 points to give
the Wizards a 90-81 lead with 5:48 left. Dixon made two 3-pointers
during the surge.

"Juan was Superman for us today," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan
said. "He really stepped in and laid it out there. He has kept his
poise, sees his opportunities and he feels good about himself. We
really needed him today."

Josh Childress and Harrington each scored four points in the
Hawks' 12-0 run to a 69-64 lead late in the third quarter.

"I can't say it got away because we did some nice things,"
Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "I thought when we made the run in
the third quarter we were playing pretty well. We let (Juan) Dixon
come in and have his way."

Arenas' follow-shot capped a 7-0 run and gave the Wizards a
62-51 lead midway through the period. Hughes scored six points and
Haywood five as the Wizards took an 18-8 lead. The Hawks answered
with a 10-0 run, capped by Kevin Willis' tip-in to tie the score.

"With good basketball comes ugly basketball sometimes," Hughes
said. "We definitely weren't in sync and weren't in rhythm, but we
got it done in the end."<
^Notes: The Wizards had a winning record in the first two months of
the season for the first time since 1984-85 when they opened 9-5.
Their 15-13 start is a seven-game improvement over last season. ...
Arenas (22.7), Jamison (21.0) and Hughes (20.1) are the only three
teammates in the league averaging more than 20 points. No three
Wizards have accomplished the feat for an entire season. ...
Jamison, who posted his 12th double-double of the season, is the
only Wizard to start all 29 games.