Wizards top Raptors, retire Monroe's jerseyDec 2, 2007 - 6:07 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison weren't going to let anyone put a damper on Hall of Famer Earl Monroe's celebration.
Butler had 29 points and seven assists and Jamison added 28 and 14 rebounds as the Washington Wizards posted a 101-97 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday.
But the evening belonged to Monroe, the 1967-68 Rookie of the Year who was traded to the bright lights of New York, where he teamed with Walt "Clyde" Frazier to form one of best backcourts in history.
Back on the court, the Wizards relished an opportunity to face the Raptors without injured All-Star forward Chris Bosh, who missed his second straight game with a strained right groin.
"It's hard, obviously, because all of our offense runs through Chris and he provides a type of game that we don't have," Raptors forward Jason Kapono said. "On the block, he can face guys up, and he gets to the free-throw line a lot. That's something we need to balance out during those tough stretches when we can't score."
Roger Mason Jr. netted 15 points and DeShawn Stevenson chipped in 11 for the Wizards, who snapped their two-game losing streak.
The triumph marked the start of a five-game homestand for Washington, which was playing its sixth game in nine days.
"We have to take advantage of it," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "We have to take it a day at a time, improve in practice on Monday and Tuesday, and prepare to play one of the toughest teams (Cleveland) in the league on Wednesday."
Washington begin the fourth quarter on a 10-4 surge to create an 88-79 advantage at the 9:22 mark. Jamison scored eight points in the stretch.
The Raptors close the gap to 88-85 when Jose Calderon fed rookie Jamario Moon for an easy jam with 5:53 left. But Bulter's long jumper capped an 8-1 run as the Wizards build a nine-point lead three minutes later.
Kapono's 3-pointer pulled the Raptors within 98-94 with 44 seconds remaining, but the Wizards would not allow them to get any closer in the final minute.
"We didn't pressure running those guys off the 3-point line," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said. "They were lining us up, and they made them. I thought Roger Mason came in and gave them a big lift. Those guys have been shooting 3s well, and we let them shoot 3s. In the past, we've done a better job of chasing guys off the 3-point line."
Kapono netted a season-best 23 points and rookie Jamario Moon had season highs with 16 and 13 rebounds for Toronto, which had its three-game winning steak stopped.
"It doesn't mean anything to me, man," Moon said. " The only thing that matters to me is a win. The double-double is nothing."
Monroe was joined on the court at halftime by former Bullets Stan McKenzie, Mike Davis, Mike Riordan, Archie Clark, Kevin Loughery, Phil Chenier, Wes Unseld and Ernie Grunfeld.
"This is obviously one of the highlights of my life," said Monroe, who thanked his former teammates for joining him on his special night. "It's unbelievable that after all these years, I can still feel the same way about stepping onto the court.
"It's been one great day and one great event," Monroe added. "I can't tell you how elated I am this has happened. What a great affair it was at halftime here."
Monroe's No. 10 jersey was raised to the rafters alongside Unseld, Gus Johnson and Elvin Hayes to the delight of 20,173 fans.
WASHINGTON 101 FINAL
Dec 1 9:35 PM
WASHINGTON 78 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 1 8:57 PM
WASHINGTON 53 HALFTIME
Dec 1 8:24 PM
WASHINGTON 23 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 1 7:34 PM
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