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Wizards edge Hawks in Jamison's return

Mar 3, 2007 - 5:20 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Antawn Jamison returned just in time to stop the bleeding.

Jamison collected 22 points and six rebounds in his first game back from an injury as the Washington Wizards ended their four-game slide with a 93-92 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

A 6-9 forward, Jamison had missed the previous 12 games with a sprained left knee sustained against Detroit on January 30.

"I thought I was going to be a little bit more winded," Jamison said. "But the last couple of weeks I have been doing some things to keep my wind up and be ready as far as not be as fatigued. I was kind of surprised, but not that surprised." "I didn't think coach (Eddie Jordan) was going to play me that many minutes. I thought he was going to gradually get me into it, but since the game was so close and he had the confidence in me."

The Wizards (32-25), who hold a four-game lead in the Southeast Division, were just a lackluster 4-8 without Jamison in the starting lineup.

"I was frustrated I wasn't able to go out there and help them," Jamison said. "Not too many teams are going to feel sorry for us. It was motivation to come back and do everything that I can possibly do to get out on the court quickly."

Prior to his injury, Jamison was able to reach the 35-point plateau in back-to-back games from January 26-28 - both wins.

"It felt good to go out there and get a win," Jamison said. "When sitting on the bench you can see a lot of things your team is lacking in. To come out and bring certain energy and do what I do felt pretty good, and we were able to get the win."

Friday's matchup also marked the return of Washington All-Star Caron Butler, who missed the last three games due to back spasms. He scored only 4 points on 1-of-10 shooting.

"It was great having Caron and Antawn back," Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas said. "You have two more options to go to so teams can't key on me."

Marvin Williams made two free throws and Josh Childress scored on a jam, capping a late 11-1 burst as the Hawks opened a 92-91 advantage with 45 seconds to go.

Washington's DeShawn Stevenson sank 1-of-2 foul shots 10 seconds. After getting his own miss and getting fouled again, he split two more free throws to give the Wizards a one-point edge with 29 ticks to play.

Atlanta had a chance to win the game, but Stevenson got a piece of Tyronn Lue's deep jumper as the buzzer sounded.

"This was a big win for us," Jordan said. "A win is a win and they are a good team no matter what their record is. I am just glad we won it."

Arenas scored 19 points and Brendan Haywood added 14 and nine rebounds for Washington, which shot 43 percent (38-of-87) from the field.

Josh Smith recorded 24 points, 14 rebounds and a season-high seven blocks and Williams scored 21 points for the Hawks, who shot 40 percent (31-of-76) from the floor.

"We played hard and didn't stop fighting, but we just could not come up with that last rebound that we needed," Smith said.

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