(30-21, 10-14 away)
(11-41, 8-15 home)
7:00 PM ET, February 14, 2005
Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- P.J. Brown refused to take a night off.
Playing through a sprained ankle even though his coach advised him to rest, Brown hit two key jumpers in the fourth quarter and came up with a crucial offensive rebound to set up New Orleans' winning points in a 98-96 victory over the Washington Wizards on Monday night.
"I wish we had 12 P.J.s," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "He's the ultimate warrior. I had a gut feeling he wouldn't be able to play after watching him last night. That just shows what type of character he has."
Brown, who sprained his left ankle Sunday against Orlando, deflected attention from himself.
"We played unselfish basketball," said Brown, who had 13 points. "Everyone is involved and everyone feels a part of it."
Gilbert Arenas scored 34 points for Washington, but his 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim.
Chris Andersen had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Hornets, converting an alley-oop dunk and a tip-in on consecutive possessions to help New Orleans maintain a slim lead late in the fourth quarter.
Bostjan Nachbar added 15 points and Rodney Rogers 12. But it was Brown's presence that strengthened a team decimated by injuries that have kept former All-Stars Baron Davis and Jamaal Magloire out most of the season, Scott said.
Davis hasn't played since bruising his right Achilles' tendon 17 games ago.
"Hopefully, (Brown's teammates) watched and they did learn something," Scott said. "He is the ultimate pro and sometimes you do have to play with a little plain. He gave us a heck of an effort."
Antawn Jamison had 30 points and 12 rebounds for Washington, but the Wizards' reserves were outscored by the Hornets' bench 39-12.
"They just fought harder than us and we just didn't make sound plays. We were frantic," Arenas said. "J.R. Smith is playing great now and he stepped up and Nachbar came in and played big for them."
Washington outrebounded New Orleans 48-34, and the Wizards had 17 offensive rebounds, which nearly won them the game.
Down 94-88, Washington missed three shots on one possession but rebounded all three, getting the ball to Juan Dixon for a floater that cut the deficit to four.
After Smith's spin into the lane for a driving layup put New Orleans ahead 96-90, Washington came back with three straight baskets to tie it, including Jamison's putback after yet another offensive rebound.
Jamison was fouled on the play and missed the free throw, but the rebound went out of bounds off Nachbar, allowing Washington to retain possession with 47 seconds left. Arenas then made a driving layup into a crowd of defenders to tie it with 38.4 seconds left.
Dickau struggled to stop Arenas or score against him (3-of-14 from the field), but Brown's late rebound with 21.9 seconds to go gave him one last chance.
Dickau then let the clock tick down inside 7 seconds before starting to drive, and Brendan Haywood was called for a push with Washington already over the limit.
"There was a little contact and normally the referee will let it go, but in the end we should have never let it come down to that," Haywood said. "We didn't make enough plays to win ... and if you leave it in the officials' hands there is no way to tell what they are going to do."
That sent Dickau, who had missed his previous two foul shots, back to the line. But he hit both to win the game and finish with 10 points.
The Hornets, coming off a three-point loss at Orlando on Sunday, were sharper early on, opening the second quarter by hitting six of eight shots and forcing four turnovers. That led to a 15-2 run during which Andersen had two steals, a transition dunk, a driving layup and an alley-oop dunk, putting New Orleans ahead 44-32.
But after scoring once in 11 possessions, Washington closed the quarter with a 12-5 run. Arenas had six points, including an 18-foot jumper that cut the Hornets' lead to 51-48 at halftime.
Arenas has scored 30 or more points 15 times this season. ... Smith, a rookie, has scored in double figures in five straight games. ... Jamison has 20 double-doubles this season. ... It was only the second time in 19 games that Washington lost when its opponent failed to score 100. ... Washington, 0-4 in its last four road games, plays Tuesday night in Houston, then does not play until after the All-Star break. ... New Orleans, which hosts San Antonio on Wednesday, has won seven of 10 home games.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||35-82 (.427)||39-82 (.476)|
|3PM-3PA||5-22 (.227)||8-24 (.333)|
|FTM-FTA||21-24 (.875)||12-19 (.632)|
|Fast Break Points||18||8|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (1/0)||22 (0/0)|