Controversial call gives Wizards win over WarriorsMar 4, 2007 - 11:46 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Don Nelson was not happy with a call in the final seconds. He was even more disappointed in the result it produced.
The coach of the Golden State Warriors argued a last-second call and was hit with a technical foul, giving Gilbert Arenas an extra free throw that provided the difference in a 107-106 victory for the Washington Wizards.
"We have lost a lot of close games this season, but none like this one," Golden State guard Monta Ellis said.
The crazy finish saddled the Warriors (26-35) with their sixth straight loss. They dropped to 0-4 on their six-game road trip and appear destined to miss the playoffs for the 13th straight year.
"I think the league will be very disappointed in this game, the way it ended, when they review the plays," Nelson said.
"It's just unfortunate that the refs made a very, very, very bad call," Warriors forward Al Harrington said. "I don't know if I'm going to get fined for that, but that was just an awful call."
The Warriors held a 106-104 lead after two free throws by Harrington with two seconds left. The Wizards called timeout and designed a play for Arenas, an All-Star who drove to the basket on Mikael Pietrus.
"I was going to drive to the hole on the final play," said Arenas, who has won a pair of games with buzzer-beating 3-pointers. "I thought they were going to play for the 3-point shot. They didn't, so I figured that I would just drive to the basketball and try and draw a foul."
The horn sounded as the whistle blew, with Pietrus called for a questionable foul. Nelson burst off the bench and vehemently argued the call, drawing a technical foul. Wizards coach Eddie Jordan also was on the court but did not receive a technical foul.
"I really don't mind the foul, because if it's a foul and he makes two free throws, we're playing an extra five minutes," Harrington said. "But the technical was just ridiculous, because now you just take the game completely away from us."
"Eddie was on the floor as well," Nelson said. "If they give me one, they have to give him one. They said I was out on the floor, but we were both on the floor. I was standing right next to him for a minute."
The referees put a tenth of a second back on the clock before Arenas drained the free throw for the technical. After he made the first of his two foul shots to tie the game, the Warriors called timeout to ice him.
Unrattled, Arenas returned to the line and sank the winning free throw. The former Warrior scored 32 points, making all 12 of his foul shots.
"Gilbert has ice water through his veins and he knocked them down," Jordan said. "It was a very strange ending."
"We knew the game was over as soon as they called the technical," said Warriors guard Jason Richardson, who had a season-high 28 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
After the game, Nelson refused to be baited into complaining about the call, saying, "It was clear to me, but I'll let you look at it and make your own decision. I'm sure the league will, too, although you're not going to replay the game."
Caron Butler scored 20 points and fellow forward Antawn Jamison added 18 for the Wizards, who have won two in a row following a four-game losing streak. Both are one-point wins, marking the first time since December 10-12, 1986 that they have won consecutive games by one point.
Not coincidentally, the wins have come since the return of both forwards, who were out with injuries but combine with Arenas to form the highest-scoring trio in the NBA.
"I feel good," said Jamison, who added 11 rebounds. "My knee feels great, and I'm getting my confidence back. Hopefully we can continue to roll the way we have the past two games."
"They are still a little disjointed, and I think Caron is the key," Jordan said. "He still gets things done defensively for us. We just do not have that rhythm right now or that flow that we had earlier before Antawn went out. We will get it back, though - without a doubt we will."
Harrington had 25 points and 13 rebounds and Andris Biedrins added 13 and 15 for the Warriors, who squandered a 15-point lead early in the second quarter. Ellis added 20 points and seven assists.
Again playing without injured starters Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson, Golden State grabbed a 98-97 lead on a jumper by Richardson with 2:55 to go. His 3-pointer gave the Warriors a 102-100 edge with 1:28 left.
Butler dunked to tie it with 48 seconds remaining, but Ellis drained a jumper 13 seconds later. DeShawn Stevenson tied it again with a layup before Harrington's free throws.
"Both teams played hard and I thought we deserved to win it, but we didn't," Nelson said.
GOLDEN STATE 106
WASHINGTON 107 FINAL
Mar 4 3:38 PM
GOLDEN STATE 84
WASHINGTON 81 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 4 2:55 PM
GOLDEN STATE 53
WASHINGTON 50 HALFTIME
Mar 4 2:10 PM
GOLDEN STATE 30
WASHINGTON 20 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 4 1:37 PM
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