Jamison helps Wizards clinch seventh place in EastApr 19, 2007 - 5:36 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Coach Eddie Jordan and the Washington Wizards found out their fate, and it will be a familiar foe.
Antawn Jamison scored 19 points to lead six players in double figures as the Wizards clinched seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 98-95 triumph over the Indiana Pacers.
DeShawn Stevenson netted 15 points and Antonio Daniels added 13 and nine assists for Washington (41-41), which will face Cleveland in a rematch of last season's first-round seven-game series.
"We know that team (Cleveland) probably better than anyone in the NBA," Jamison said. "We just have to get ready to play."
"Over a seven-game series a lot can happen," Wizards guard Jarvis Haynes said. "We just had to get guys in the right spot, get ready to fight and come out fighting."
The Wizards hope things will be an improvement over how their regular season ended, when they lost eight of 12 games and were without Gilbert Arenas (knee) and fellow All-Star Caron Butler (hand).
"It is good to end the season on a good note," Jamison said. "We put ourselves in a difficult situation and we were fortunate to get a win. In the playoffs, it doesn't matter who is on the floor. We have to try to be successful with what we've got."
"I think our guys understood it would be good momentum," Jordan said about the victory. "We are going to try to carry it out into the weekend."
Late in the fourth quarter, Daniels scored on a floater off the glass to snap a 93-93 tie with 58 seconds left. But Mike Dunleavy answered with a basket of his own after a Pacers timeout.
Daniels split a pair of free throws as the Wizards grabbed a 96-95 advantage with 30 seconds remaining. Indiana second-year forward Ike Diogu had a chance to help the Pacers take the lead, but missed both foul shots and Darius Songaila added two more free throws to seal the win.
"You have to step up in those situations, but I didn't," Diogu said.
Dunleavy scored 17 points and Danny Granger chipped in 14 for the Pacers (35-47), who finished 7-23 since the All-Star break and failed to make the postseason for the first time in nine years.
"It's been challenging all year," Pacers All-Star Jermaine O'Neal said. "It's been a hard year for everybody. Sometimes you don't understand why a team is struggling."
"What a year. And I'll say I'm really proud of the guys," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "The guys battled like crazy but couldn't get over the hump."
Indiana was swept in the season series by Washington for the first time since the 1976-77 campaign.
INDIANA 95 FINAL
Apr 18 10:28 PM
INDIANA 73 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 18 9:46 PM
INDIANA 53 HALFTIME
Apr 18 9:06 PM
INDIANA 18 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 18 8:33 PM
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