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Hughes scores winning basket with 0.7 seconds left

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Some last-second heroics from Larry Hughes kept
the Washington Wizards' best start in 20 seasons going.

Hughes made a driving layup with 0.7 seconds remaining to lift
the Wizards to a 105-103 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday
night, putting Washington eight games over .500 for the first time
since 1979.

The Bucks, who let an eight-point lead with five minutes to play
slip away, came back and tied the game at 103 on Michael Redd's
3-pointer with 18.2 seconds to go. Washington called timeout to set
up the final play.

Hughes, who had 23 points, eight assists and five steals,
dribbled the clock down with Desmond Mason guarding him before
streaking to the hoop and laying the ball up over Mason and in. The
Bucks had a full timeout remaining but failed to call it, instead
settling for one final heave from well beyond midcourt.

The Wizards were 20-15 on Jan. 8 during the 1984-85 season.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan has come to expect perfection down
the stretch from the team that came in with the third-best record
in the Eastern Conference.

"Larry executed it perfectly," the second-year coach said.
"But, we've got special guys on this team. They've got a winning
attitude, a killer attitude. We've been in games like this all year
long."

Hughes sensed that Mason might have been confused on the final
play.

"He didn't know which way I was going," Hughes said.

Mason didn't, and Hughes' shot gave the Wizards their first
six-game winning streak in more than three years.

"I feel like I'm a better defensive player than letting the guy
go all the way to the basket and lay the ball in," said Mason, who
admitted he didn't know the Bucks had a timeout left. "He put his
head down and went straight to the basket."

Washington, coming off a sweep of its five-game homestand,
hasn't been eight games above the break-even mark since finishing
the 1978-79 season with a 54-28 record.

"We won those five in a row at home, now to win on the road,
this was huge," Hughes said. "We feel great."

Antawn Jamison scored 22 and Gilbert Arenas had 20 points for
Washington, whose last six-game streak came during a stretch of
nine consecutive victories from Dec. 6-22, 2001.

"By now, the opponents should know that if they're not up by
15, don't celebrate," Arenas said. "The last six minutes is about
our time where we dig down deep, get smart and figure out how to
make plays happen."

The Wizards scored 100 points for the ninth consecutive time,
the franchise's longest streak since doing it 11 straight times
Dec. 8-29, 1995.

The road victory also gave the Wizards nine for the season, one
better than last year's total.

Redd had 20 points, Mason 16 and Maurice Williams added 15
points and eight assists for Milwaukee, which had won a season-high
tying three consecutive games before losing two straight on the
road, including a 23-point loss to Atlanta.

Hughes hit a 3-pointer and two free throws and Juan Dixon had a
jumper during a 12-0 run that gave the Wizards a 99-95 lead with
1:39 left.

Dixon kept the Wizards close with seven points early in the
fourth, including a three-point play tied the game at 83 with 8:50
to play.

The Bucks erased the Wizards' 56-47 halftime lead by opening the
third quarter with intensity. Dan Gadzuric had eight points and
five rebounds, Williams added eight points and Redd and Mason six
apiece during a 28-10 run ending with Gadzuric's dunk that gave the
Bucks a 75-66 lead with 3:26 left in the quarter.

Game notes
Wizards' G Anthony Peeler did not make the trip due to
right Achilles tendinitis, and swingman Jarvis Hayes was out with a
mild concussion. ... The Wizards shot 23-of-41 (56.1 percent) while
the Bucks went 22-of-41 (53.7 percent) in the first half. ... Etan
Thomas, the forward/center the Bucks signed to an offer sheet in
the offseason, played in his second game since missing the Wizards'
first 32 games with an abdominal strain suffered during training
camp. He was scoreless in 16 minutes.