<
>

Late Arenas free throws vault Wizards past Celtics

BOSTON (AP) -- The Wizards received an encore performance from
Gilbert Arenas.

Arenas hit two free throws with 1.7 seconds remaining to lift
the Washington Wizards to an 89-87 victory over the Boston Celtics
on Wednesday night.

"It is deja vu," Celtics guard Delonte West said. "We are not
upset at the foul, but we are upset that we didn't close out the
game when we had the chance."

In their only other matchup this season, Arenas drew a foul with
three seconds remaining and hit two free throws to give the Wizards
a 103-102 victory on Jan. 7.

"He's one of the best in the league at getting the last shot
and creating a foul so it is always good to have it in his hands
for the last shot," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.

Antawn Jamison scored 16 of his game-high 26 points in the
fourth quarter and Brendan Haywood scored a season-high 21 for
Washington, which has now won six of its last eight.

"He (Davis) bailed me out a little bit," Arenas said.
"Because then I'd have had to try and create and finish over a big
man, which I probably would have done."

After a Pierce dunk gave the Celtics an 87-85 lead with 58.5
seconds remaining, Jamison hit a pair of free throws to tie the
game at 87.

Pierce then missed an opportunity to regain the lead for Boston
when he missed a pair of free throws with 38 seconds remaining.
After Haywood fumbled the rebound out of bounds, Ricky Davis missed
a jump shot with 12 seconds left before Arenas hit the game-winning
free throws.

"They are in the eighth spot right now so this was a tough loss
and we missed an opportunity," Davis said.

Pierce scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but was
5-for-13 from the free throw line.

"This is the first time that I can remember that I have missed
eight free throws in a game in my career," Pierce said.

Arenas had 19 points for the Wizards (19-21) who shot 40 percent
from the field.

West had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics (17-25),
who had a three-game home winning streak snapped.

After shooting 57 percent in the first, the Celtics shot 21
percent in the second quarter as the Wizards cut Boston's lead to
39-37 at halftime.

Arenas, Jamison and Caron Butler shot a combined 5-for-22 in the
first half.

The Celtics ended the first quarter with a 29-19 lead courtesy
of two 8-0 runs and 11 points from Pierce.

After scoring one point in the last three games, Mark Blount
came off the bench in the fourth quarter and scored all 11 of his
points for the Celtics.

Game notes
Washington has dropped seven of its last 11 to the Celtics.
... Arenas is one of four players in the league ranked in the top
20 in points and assists per game. The others are LeBron James,
Allen Iverson and Dwyane Wade. ... The Celtics' 10 points in the
second quarter was their lowest output of the year.