Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/12

Game 1: Wednesday, January 12th
Trail Blazers100Final
Wizards104
Game 2: Monday, March 28th
Wizards114Final
Trail Blazers106

Wizards 114

(39-30, 15-21 away)

Trail Blazers 106

(24-45, 16-18 home)

    7:00 PM ET, March 28, 2005

    Moda Center, Portland, OR

    1 2 3 4 T
    WSH 24 27 29 34114
    POR 28 16 25 37106

    Top Performers

    Washington: G. Arenas 28 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Portland: S. Abdur-Rahim 19 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Wizards keep hold on home-court advantage

    PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Larry Hughes and Gilbert Arenas have evolved into the NBA's top backcourt pairing and are keeping the Washington Wizards among the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

    "We're No. 1. You can put us up against anybody in the league," Hughes said.

    Arenas scored 28 points and Hughes added 25 points Monday night, leading the Wizards to a 114-16 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Hughes and Arena make up the league's highest-scoring starting backcourt at 47.5 points per game.

    "No one's matching up with us. We're first and everyone is fighting to be second and third," Arenas said.

    Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 19 points and eight rebounds, and rookie Sebastian Telfair scored 17 for the Blazers.

    Etan Thomas, starting in place of the injured Brendan Haywood, had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who maintained a one-game lead over Chicago in the race for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

    If Washington can hold onto fourth place, it can ensure home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

    Hughes, the sixth-leading scorer in the NBA at 25.5 points, and Arenas, averaging 22.0 points, have had even more responsibility lately, picking up the slack for the short-handed Wizards.

    Washington is without Haywood (fractured thumb) for at least two weeks. Third-leading scorer and leading rebounder Antawn Jamison has missed eight straight games with tendinitis in his right knee, and is not expected back for another week.

    Arenas logged extra minutes when Hughes missed 20 games with a fractured thumb. Hughes has been sensational since returning Feb. 23.

    The Blazers committed 15 turnovers in the first three quarters, and the youthful lineup couldn't overcome the mistakes.

    Reserve Richie Frahm had 16 points in 18 minutes for Portland, which had seven players in double figures. Darius Miles had 13 of his 15 points in the first half.

    Juan Dixon had 13 points in a reserve role and Kwame Brown finished with 12 points and eight assists.

    Portland is also slowed by injuries. Derek Anderson (back) and Theo Ratliff (shoulder) are out, and Zach Randolph and Nick Van Exel have knee injuries and aren't expected back this season.

    That has led to increased playing time for youngsters Telfair, Travis Outlaw, Viktor Khryapa and Frahm since the Blazers fired coach Maurice Cheeks on March 2.

    Portland has gone 2-12 under interim coach Kevin Pritchard, and sloppy play and defensive lapses by the young Blazers helped the Wizards (39-30) maintain a double-digit advantage throughout the second half.

    Portland shot 65 percent in the first quarter and led 28-24. But turnovers and missed defensive assignments led to second-chance looks and easy baskets for Washington, which went on a 12-0 run to take a 47-37 lead.

    "Something we've got to work on together," Telfair said. "You spend so much energy on offense and you want to go out and give the same energy on defense."

    The Blazers (24-45), who missed the playoffs last season after 22 consecutive appearances, were officially eliminated from contention with the loss.

    Washington, which plays eight of its next 12 games at home, completed its first winning Western Conference road trip since 1999-2000, winning three of five games.

    "I hope our fans back in D.C. realize we are starting a new era in Washington," coach Eddie Jordan said.

    Game notes


    The Wizards have won three of their last four against Portland and swept the season series for the first time since 1996-97. ... ...Frahm had his highest scoring game for the Trail Blazers. ... Telfair went down hard and left the game in the last minute after catching Abdur-Rahim's elbow to the face. He didn't return, but said after the game that he was OK.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES

    Team Stat Comparison

     
    WSH
    POR
    Points 114 106
    FGM-FGA 41-86 (.477) 43-82 (.524)
    3PM-3PA 2-11 (.182) 7-13 (.538)
    FTM-FTA 30-41 (.732) 13-23 (.565)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-45 10-35
    Assists 22 29
    Turnovers 13 17
    Steals 15 8
    Blocks 5 7
    Fast Break Points 21 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 23 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 15 6

    Top Performers

    Washington
    Portland
    Gilbert Arenas Arenas
    Points: 28
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Shareef Abdur-Rahim Abdur-Rahim
    Points: 19
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2