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Cats unable to capitalize in crunch time

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Washington Wizards were lousy on
offense and not much better on defense, forcing them to rely on one
heads-up play by Laron Profit to end their six-game road losing
streak.

Profit tipped in Juan Dixon's miss with 3.1 seconds to play to
give the Washington Wizards an 86-84 victory over the Charlotte
Bobcats on Saturday night.

"When he shot it, I just decided with the time left to go in
and try to get a hand on it," Profit said. "Luckily for us the
ball went in because saying we didn't play well is an
understatement."

The Wizards shot just 37 percent, were 1-of-10 from 3-point
range and had eight shots blocked.

Plus, they were short on bodies -- just 10 players suited up but
Anthony Peeler didn't play -- and then Antawn Jamison left early in
the third quarter with what the Wizards would only say was a sore
right knee.

How they rallied from a 14-point deficit and pulled out the win
was a mystery to them.

"We really have been talking about how we need to win games on
the defensive end and tonight we spoke it right up," Profit said.
"We didn't have our `A' game or our `B' game offensively, so we
really had to buckle down and make some plays."

The Bobcats missed twice before Washington's final possession.
Jason Kapono's shot was off, and Gerald Wallace's shot was blocked
by Brendan Haywood.

The Wizards called timeout and ran down the clock before getting
the ball to Dixon in the left corner. His shot bounced off the rim,
but Profit was under the basket and tipped it in.

Charlotte didn't have any timeouts left, and Keith Bogans heaved
up a half-court shot that was off the mark. Washington improved to
3-0 against the Bobcats.

"Profit just wanted it a little more than we did on that
possession," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said.

Haywood, from nearby Greensboro and a North Carolina alum,
scored 22 points to lead Washington.

"My mom is here and I wanted to have a good showing for Mama,"
Haywood said.

Gilbert Arenas scored 21 and Kwame Brown had 16 points and 12
rebounds.

Jason Hart scored 18 of his career-high 20 points in the fourth
quarter to lead Charlotte. Kapono had 19 points and a career-high
eight rebounds off the bench, and Primoz Brezec added 16 points.

"We're not getting down, but we need a break," Hart said.
"Unfortunately, that last rebound did not go our way. This one
hurts."

The Bobcats also have injury problems, with guard Kareem Rush
placed on the injured list before the game with a knee sprain and
Brevin Knight out with a sprained ankle suffered Friday night.

The game was tied at 79 with 2:03 to play, then Hughes put the
Wizards on top with a pair of free throws after he was fouled by
Emeka Okafor while fighting for a rebound.

The Bobcats took a timeout to set up a play, and came out of the
break with a quick 3-pointer from Hart for an 82-81 lead with 1:32
to go.

Arenas missed for Washington, but the battle for the rebound
turned into a scrum and a jump ball that the Wizards won. Then
Brezec fouled Hughes to send him to the line, where he made one of
two shots to tie it with 1:06 to go.

After another timeout, Hart drove into the lane and went high
over all his defenders for a layup that put Charlotte on top with
58 seconds to play. But Arenas was fouled by Okafor -- his second
costly foul late in the final 1:36 -- and Arenas made both shots to
tie it again.

Game notes
Jamison said he would be parked in front of his TV on
Sunday watching alma mater North Carolina play Duke with the
Atlantic Coast Conference title on the line. "I don't think I've
missed a game unless we were playing," he said. "For a guy who
was as big a part of the rivalry as I was, I know how important
this game is." .... Charlotte activated Matt Carroll, but he
didn't play. ... The Bobcats said Knight will miss at least three
games, but Knight said he doubted he will be out that long.