Pistons Fall on the Road

By: AP
By: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Antawn Jamison had 24 points and 12 rebounds Sunday night, and the Washington Wizards added another impressive win to their resume with a 95-83 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
The Wizards overcame the distraction of yet another episode of Gilbert Arenas drama to win their third straight game and sixth in their past seven. They shot 53 percent and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of sixth-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference.
Although only three games above .500, the Wizards own two victories each over NBA front-runners Boston, Dallas, New Orleans and Cleveland. They are 1-1 vs. Detroit with one more meeting next month.
Arenas took part in the morning shootaround and was expecting to play, but the three-time All-Star guard instead missed his 61st consecutive game with a knee injury after team doctors would not clear him to play. Arenas was unhappy about the news -- "I'm not coming back this year," he muttered about an hour before the game -- and he left because he didn't have suitable attire to wear on the bench. He reappeared in the first half and took his place on the bench wearing a tan sport coat.
"I was ready," Arenas told ESPN during the game. "But they went out there with a fishing pole and yanked me back."
Caron Butler added 17 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Brendan Haywood had 16 points for the Wizards.
Richard Hamilton scored 19 points to lead the Pistons, who have lost two in a row. Rasheed Wallace scored 11 points on 3-for-12 shooting and was called for a technical for shoving Andray Blatche during the Wizards' key fourth-quarter run.
The Wizards took the lead late in the first quarter and never relinquished it, although the Pistons pulled close several times. Washington led 62-61 late in the third and 73-69 early in the fourth, but an 8-2 run capped by Roger Mason's 3-pointer increased the lead to double digits 81-71 with 7:25 to play.
Haywood scored nine of Washington's first 18 points, and his dunk at the end of the first quarter was part of a 14-2 run that gave the Wizards a 32-20 lead.
The Pistons closed to 47-40 at halftime, and Chauncey Billups' five third-quarter assists got the Pistons within one. Jamison had the highlight play of the quarter: a falling-down, right-handed fling into the basket while being fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound. He made the free throw for a three-point play.
Notes:@ Wizards G Nick Young missed his second straight game with a bruised right thigh. ... Wizards G Antonio Daniels, carrying the load at point guard because of the injury to Arenas, started his career-high 51st game of the season. Daniels started 50 games as a rookie for Vancouver in the 1997-98 season. ... Wizards coach Eddie Jordan on Arenas: "He wants to test his whole body in an NBA game, and the doctors said he's not ready and it's good for all parties to wait and see once another week has gone by to see where he is."


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