Final - OT
  for this game

Blatche, Jamison lift Wizards over Raptors

Jan 30, 2008 - 5:01 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Andray Blatche and Dominic McGuire joined a long line of players who keep stepping up for the Washington Wizards this season.

Blatche started in place of injured Caron Butler and had 19 points and eight rebounds to help the Wizards to a 108-104 overtime victory over the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.

A 6-9 rookie forward from Fresno State, McGuire had a career-high 10 rebounds in a career-high 22 minutes.

Six of his boards came at the offensive end, including two in overtime that gave Washington much-needed, second-chance scoring opportunities. The Wizards outrebounded the Raptors, 9-2, in the extra period.

"Andray did a phenomenal job defensively," said Antawn Jamison, who led the Wizards with 24 points and 20 rebounds. "He made it tough for them and he did some great things for us offensively.

"The young fella, Dominic, came in and gave us some quality possessions after it was kind of hard for us to get some buckets on the offensive end. He did a good job defensively, too. Without those two performances tonight, it probably would've been a different story."

DeShawn Stevenson scored 20 points and reserve guard Roger Mason Jr. added 13 points and a team-high six assists for the Wizards, who won their fifth in a row at home.

The Wizards sandwiched a tip-in by Jamison and two free throws by Antonio Daniels around Jason Kapono's 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining in overtime to secure the victory.

Three free throws by Jamison and consecutive 3-pointers by Mason and Stevenson gave the Wizards a 104-98 lead with 46.9 seconds remaining in the extra period.

The game was sent to overtime thanks to the Raptors' Anthony Parker, who made a desperation 3-pointer from the right corner over three defenders for a 95-95 tie as the horn sounded to end regulation.

"That was a crazy shot," said Blatche, one of three Wizards whom Parker launched the shot over. "After (Jamario Moon) passed him the ball, I tried to come over the top and get it, but it seemed like it was going to be a good shot. And it actually was."

Parker, who shot 3-of-16 from the field, felt like he let the Raptors down despite sending the game into overtime.

"I thought Jose (Calderon) and Chris Bosh played well," Parker said. "But I just could not get it going. I can't help but think, if I could have hit a couple more shots, we wouldn't have been in this position."

Jamison, who finished one rebound shy of his career high, notched his 26th double-double of the campaign for Washington. Orlando's Dwight Howard is the only player in the Eastern Conference with more double-doubles this season.

"We've got some guys on this team who can really put the ball in the bucket," Jamison said. "My focus was to really hit the boards offensively and defensively, and defensively really do a good job."

Butler, the Wizards' leading scorer at 21.9 points, missed the game with a strained left hip flexor sustained during an overtime loss in Milwaukee on Sunday. He also is expected to miss Wednesday's game at Toronto, the second half of a home-and-home series between the teams.

Injured superstar Gilbert Arenas - who has played just eight games this season - was another key contributor out for the Wizards, who barely missed a beat with Blatche in the lineup.

He shot 8-of-12 from the field and scored nine points during Washington's 14-0 run to start the second half, capping the spurt with a bucket that gave the Wizards a 60-53 lead with 7:30 remaining in the third quarter.

"When we went to the shootaround, coach and everybody said Caron was going to be out, so I knew right then I had to step it up, so I went home and got some rest and got focused for the game," Blatche said. "I knew I had to come out and bring it because Caron's are big shoes to fill. I just tried my hardest."

The performance reminded Blatche of his game against the 76ers on November 20.

"Yeah, my career night against Philly when I had 26, it felt like the same night," he said. "It was going for me. After I hit my first shot, I knew that I was going to be rolling. The only thing that stopped me was foul trouble. That cooled me off a little bit."

Bosh had 37 points and 12 rebounds, Calderon had 23 and 13 assists and Kris Humphries scored 16.

"In overtime, guys are going to play hard basketball," Bosh said. "They kind of switched it up and gave me a look I wasn't used to in the first half, and they did a very good job. But you know what? I know it, I've seen it, so (Wednesday) I can prepare for it."

The teams will complete the home-and-home, back-to-back set Wednesday in Toronto.

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