Earl Boykins hit a jumper with 0.4 to play and Washington defeated the New Jersey Nets 81-79 on Friday in the Wizards' first game since guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended for the remainder of the season for bringing weapons into the locker room.
The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Wizards and prevented the Nets (4-41) from posting consecutive victories for the first time this season. New Jersey beat the Clippers on Wednesday to end an 11-game losing streak.
Boykins finished with a team-high 15 points and Andray Blatche added 14 in a game where none of the Wizards' starters scored in double figures.
Courtney Lee had 19 points and Brook Lopez added 17 and eight rebounds for the Nets.
The Wizards and the Nets came into the game with the two worst records in the Eastern Conference and neither seemed to want to win in the final minutes.
Held without a point for almost the final five minutes, the Nets tied the game at 79 when Lopez spun away from Brendan Haywood and hit a layup with 13 seconds to play.
After the Wizards called a time out, Boykins dribbled the ball slowly up the court and it became obvious that he was going to take the final shot. As the clock ticked off the final seconds, Boykins veered to the right wing and hit a high-arching 17-footer that hit nothing but net.
The Nets tried to get off a final shot but it did not seem that Jarvis Hayes' attempt left his hands before the final buzzer.
Washington had taken a 79-77 lead with 2:23 to play when Caron Butler hit two free throws after being fouled going up with the rebound of Antawn Jamison's missed shot.
There were only nine points scored in the final five minutes and the Wizards had seven of them.
After Lopez hit two free throws to put New Jersey ahead 77-74 with 5:01 to play, Jamison followed his own missed to cut the lead to a point and Haywood tied the game, making one of two free throws with 3:07 left.
Washington, which trailed by 12 points in the first half, stayed closed thanks in large part to the play of Boykins, Blatche and Eric Young (10 points) off the bench.
The trio combined for 22 of the Wizards' 28 second-quarter points to get Washington within a point at the half and Boykins had the final five in a late 7-0 third-quarter spurt that had the Wizards within 66-63 heading into the final quarter.
A 3-pointer by Chris Quinn with 6.8 seconds left in the quarter gave the Nets the lead.
NOTES: ...The Wizards are 2-0 vs. Nets this season. ...Lopez had a brief chat with ESPN host Michelle Beadle after blocking a shot by Boykins and chasing the ball into the sideline courtside seats. ...The Wizards outscored the Nets 35-32 in the second half, with New Jersey getting 13 points in the fourth quarter.
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