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Hughes, Arenas sit out 4th quarter as Wizards prep for Bulls

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Knicks went out with a win,
avoiding a 50-loss season.

Jamal Crawford made seven 3-pointers and scored 36 points, and
the Knicks came from behind to beat the playoff-bound Washington
Wizards 113-105 Wednesday night.

"We are happy where we are at, but we don't have that playoff
tenacity and that playoff personality," said Wizards coach Eddie
Jordan, who benched Antawn Jamison early and rested his starters in
the fourth quarter. "It's a challenge, it's the first time for us.
It's the first time for me as a head coach. We're going to work our
butts off and just find out a way to do it."

The Knicks were the ones playing as though there was something
at stake.

They didn't lead until 1:48 remained when Maurice Taylor posted
up Etan Thomas, hit a short jumper and drew Thomas' sixth foul.
Crawford followed with his seventh 3-pointer with 1:06 left, and
the Wizards were forced to foul. The Knicks set a team record by
hitting all 26 of their free throws, including seven by Crawford.

"You're only as good as your last game so you definitely want
to leave a good impression," Crawford said. "Did you see those
fans, how they were cheering? It was like a playoff atmosphere."

That's as good as it gets for New York, though. Stephon Marbury
added 20 points and seven assists for the Knicks, and Michael
Sweetney had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

"The only thing we can do is get ready for next season,"
Marbury said. "Once we get the mixture of players that can come in
here and do the things that are needed to win ball games, I think
my game will totally change. I think it will go up as a matter of
fact."

Gilbert Arenas scored 25 points, but neither he nor Larry Hughes
played a minute in the fourth quarter as Washington rested up for
its first-round playoff series against Chicago, which starts
Sunday.

"We just don't have that defensive swagger," Jordan said.
"But playoff basketball is half-court lockdown. We don't have that
personality right now."

Kwame Brown added 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting and Hughes had 16
points for the Wizards, who are a No. 5 seed going up against the
fourth-seeded Bulls.

"I don't want to say something to get them all jacked up,"
Jordan said. "They deserve the fourth spot, we're the underdogs
and we've got to go in there and finally have to say to ourselves
we have to scratch and fight an opponent that can beat us.

The Knicks cut their deficit to 88-87 with 10:30 left when
Jerome Williams started the scoring in the fourth quarter with a
pair of free throws. But Washington's reserves looked like they'd
preserve the lead when Steve Blake drove baseline and found Thomas
slashing for an easy dunk, and Brown scored on three straight
possessions to push the lead to 95-87.<
^Notes@: Knicks interim coach Herb Williams dismissed talk of his
future. "I know I'll get up tomorrow, the sun will probably be
shining. We'll figure out the rest from there," he said. "I've
never been in this situation before. I've been with this
organization for a long time and they've always been good for me."
... Wizards F Brendan Haywood did not play after bruising his left
knee Tuesday against the Nets. ... During an ugly stretch for both
teams, Knicks F Trevor Ariza missed three straight open fast-break
layups. ... Jamison played only six minutes in the first half and
17 for the game. ... The Wizards lost their last four road games.