Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/17

Game 1: Friday, December 17th
Wizards120Final
OT
Lakers116
Game 2: Monday, March 14th
Lakers81Final
Wizards95

Lakers 81

(32-30, 11-18 away)

Wizards 95

(34-27, 23-9 home)

7:00 PM ET, March 14, 2005

Verizon Center, Washington, DC

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 22 16 19 2481
WSH 23 29 21 2295

Top Performers

Los Angeles: C. Butler 20 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Washington: L. Hughes 21 Pts, 12 Reb, 7 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

Wizards sweep Lakers for the first time in 43 years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Wizards have a season sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers.

They finished it off without All-Star forward Antawn Jamison, who left in the first quarter with a knee injury that is looking worse every day. They did it even though Gilbert Arenas was hobbling with a sore knee.

They did it riding Larry Hughes' 21 points and 12 rebounds, plus 21 points from Arenas, and by dominating the lane against a Lakers team that didn't have much fight. The Wizards built a double digit lead in the second quarter and never looked back in Monday night's 95-81 victory.

"It's one we definitely wanted, one we definitely needed," Hughes said.

The Wizards won the other meeting 120-116 in overtime in Los Angeles on Dec. 17, giving Washington its first season sweep since the teams first met in 1961. By contrast, the Lakers have swept the Wizards 10 times over the decades.

Although Jamison was gone, big men Brendan Haywood (16 points), Etan Thomas (8) and Jared Jeffries (9) found the pickings easy inside. The trio combined to make 14 of 18 shots as the Wizards outscored the Lakers 44-20 in the paint.

"Without Antawn, those guys played well. Antawn was holding those guys back all year," coach Eddie Jordan said jokingly.

Then he added: "When we talk about the proverbial step-up -- everyone has to step up -- that's what happened tonight."

They'll have to keep it up. Jordan didn't go into detail, but he made it sound as if Jamison could miss a few games and will be limited for the rest of the season. Jamison has a sore knee and back from a season of playing the more physical power forward position, and he recently had a streak of 386 consecutive games come to an end. He limped badly through the first quarter and sat down for good after playing just eight minutes.

"It's going to be a couple more days of rest, and then a day-to-day evaluation from there," Jordan said. "He's trying to gut it out. When he feels that he can give it another go, we'll let him go. It's going to be a tough end-of-the-season from him."

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Wizards, who had lost eight of 11 and were in need of some momentum heading into a stretch in which they play seven of their next nine on the road.

The Lakers were outhustled for long stretches of the game, giving up easy fast breaks while letting the Wizards chase down the loose balls. The lead was 19 early in the fourth quarter when Los Angeles finally put together a run with a series of 3-pointers to pull within nine, but Arenas responded with back-to-back jumpers, and Haywood brought the crowd to its feet when he plowed through the lane to dunk in a rebound during a fast break.

"We were beat in absolutely every category tonight, except we had more assists," coach Frank Hamblen said. "I was very disappointed in the way we came out and very disappointed in the way we continued to play. ... There was an awful lot of smoke going on with all the fireworks before the game. It was very smoky to start that game -- maybe we were a little foggy. I don't know. It was awful. I think the guys are probably embarrassed the way they played. I'm embarrassed the way I had them prepared."

Caron Butler had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Kobe Bryant scored 18 points for the Lakers, but Bryant made just six of 22 shots. Chucky Atkins added 15 points, but he started 0-for-7 and made most of his shots after the Wizards had built the big lead.

"I was forced to take bail-out shots with the shot clock going down, taking fadeaways from the corner and things like that," Bryant said. "Not necessarily great looks, but we had to put the ball into the basket."

Game notes


The Lakers are 2-1 midway through their six-game road trip. ... The Wizards are 10-4 at home against Western Conference teams. ... Bryant used electrical stimulation Monday to help relieve swelling in his right ankle, which he sprained earlier in the season. "Ankle was a little stiff this morning," he said. ... Lakers forward Lamar Odom said the Lakers' team chemistry is better than advertised. "I used to hear stories that no one talked on the Laker bus," Odom said. "Well, no one shuts up. Cracking on each other, ribbing, you need things like that, especially when things are going bad." ... The Wizards played without guards Juan Dixon (sore ankle) and Anthony Peeler (sore knee). Forward Kwame Brown played on a sore ankle. ... Odom was called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter for attempting to punch the ball out of Brown's hands during a dead ball.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LAL
WSH
Points 81 95
FGM-FGA 31-88 (.352) 32-72 (.444)
3PM-3PA 10-34 (.294) 5-17 (.294)
FTM-FTA 9-12 (.750) 26-36 (.722)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 18-40 13-43
Assists 23 21
Turnovers 18 17
Steals 8 11
Blocks 5 5
Fast Break Points 9 19
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (2/0) 19 (0/0)
Largest Lead 1 19

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Washington
Caron Butler Butler
Points: 20
Reb: 11
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Larry Hughes Hughes
Points: 21
Reb: 12
Ast: 7
Stl: 4
Blk: 1