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Wizards use late push to top Blazers

Dec 4, 2010 - 4:49 AM Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Andray Blatche scored 10 of his 19 points in the final quarter and pulled down nine rebounds, helping the Wizards to an 83-79 win over Portland, sending the Trail Blazers to their sixth consecutive defeat.

Cartier Martin drilled the go-ahead jumper from beyond the arc to start a string of 10 straight Washington points in the fourth quarter. Gilbert Arenas ended with 15 points for the Wizards, who snapped a four-game slide. JaVale McGee chipped in 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

"All we did yesterday was work on defense," Wizards coach Flip Saunders said. "Our offense kind of showed it. If you want to be good in this league, you're going to have to learn to play defense. Right now that's our point of emphasis."

Rookie guard John Wall had 10 points and four rebounds in his return to the starting lineup for the Wizards, but he went 3-of-13 from the field. Wall played in just three of the previous nine contests due to injury.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who are on their longest skid since dropping their final eight contests of the 2005-06 season. Brandon Roy had a team-best 18 points in defeat.

"I wouldn't say we're not responding," Aldridge said. "I would just say we're trying to figure it out. I don't know any guy here who wants to lose this way, or this minute."

The Blazers shot just 33.3 percent from the field and hit on just 11-of-49 attempts (22.4 percent) in the second half. Andre Miller, who had 12 points and seven assists. was the major culprit with a 2-of-12 performance. That included a 1-of-9 showing over the final 24 minutes when the visitors were outscored, 49-33.

Miller's two free throws moved the Blazers to a 69-67 lead with 4:59 remaining, but Martin sank a three-ball to start Washington's big push. Blatche scored four consecutive points, two on free throws just after the Blazers missed five shots on one extended possession. A technical free throw by Arenas and a 1-of-2 showing by McGee at the foul line expanded the margin to 77-69 with 1:52 to play, essentially sealing the outcome.

Portland scored 11 in a row during the first quarter to grab a 15-8 lead, and the visitors carried a 24-18 cushion into the second period. The margin reached 12 late in the second quarter, where it stood at halftime at 46-34 shortly after Dante Cunningham's layup.

Nine consecutive Washington points moved the hosts ahead, 55-54, with 1 1/2 minutes left in the third on a dunk by Blatche. The difference was the same (57-56) going to the fourth.

Game Notes

Portland center Joel Przybilla played nearly 20 minutes in his first game since rupturing his right patella in a game nearly a year ago. He had four points and seven rebounds...Wizards center Yi Jianlian returned from a nine- game absence (right knee) and played nearly 11 minutes in a reserve role...The Wizards beat the Blazers for just the third time in the last 10 meetings.