Butler converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:04
remaining and made all 15 free throws to give the Wizards a 96-95
victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
"He saw a matchup where he could use his quickness against Josh
Smith," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "Smith can give you
nightmares with his ups, blocking shots and catching lobs over you.
He liked his matchup and he was quicker. Although he did not shoot
a high percentage from the field, he got to the line and made his
Butler scored 21 points on 3-of-10 shooting but extended his
streak to 32 straight made free throws, dating to Nov. 17 against
the Detroit Pistons.
"I am just trying to stay aggressive, trying to stay
consistent," Butler said. "My teammates are finding me in the
flow, (and I'm) getting hacked and going to the foul line and just
Butler tied the franchise record for made free throws in a game,
held by several players.
The last player to accomplish the feat, coincidentally, was
Arenas, who also had 21 points but committed nine turnovers and was
whistled twice for charging in the final 1:29.
"I just started having turnovers the last couple of games and I
have been struggling for five games now," Arenas said. "When you
are aggressive, you are going to have turnovers. I am not paying
attention to them because there will be some games where I have one
or two and it all evens out in the end."
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 33 points, eight assists and six
rebounds. Reserve guard Tyronn Lue added 18 points.
After Butler's three-point play, Lue hit a jumper that pulled
the Hawks to 96-95 with 47 seconds left. Eleven seconds later, Lue
drew an offensive foul on Arenas.
Smith missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 15 seconds
remaining and Johnson missed an 18-footer with 4 seconds left as
the Hawks dropped their second in a row.
"The shot looked good when it left my hand," Johnson said.
"But it just didn't go down."
Added Hawks coach Mike Woodson: "We got the right shot. After
watching the tape, Salim (Stoudamire) broke open and when Joe came
over across the top with the live dribble, he took it upon himself
to take the shot. Joe's made big shots before and I can live with
Wizards forward Jarvis Hayes had the assignment of guarding
Johnson down the stretch.
"Jarvis came in and did a good job on Joe Johnson," Butler
said. "The second he got off the bench, he was like 'I want him'
and he did a heck of a job."
Antawn Jamison had 18 points for the Wizards, who have won nine
of their last 10 games against the Hawks.
The score was tied at 76 after three quarters, but Hayes'
3-pointer from the corner gave the Wizards an 87-80 lead with 8:05
Johnson's dunk off a backcourt steal and assist from Smith tied
the game at 66 midway through the third quarter. Butler scored
eight of the Wizards' last 10 points of the period, all on free
The Wizards shot 51 percent en route to a 55-49 halftime lead
against the Hawks, who entered the game ranked fourth in the league
for opposing teams' field-goal percentage at .432.
Jamison had nine points and Butler added eight as Washington
took a 30-22 lead after one quarter.
Washington has won five straight games against the Hawks at
Verizon Center. Atlanta's last win here came on Dec. 30, 2003.
Game Notes Jamison's 12 blocked shots this season already match his
total of last season. .... Zaza Pachulia had eight rebounds in the
first quarter. He finished with a season-high 14. ... Speedy
Claxton started for Atlanta after missing one game with a sore left