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Stevenson's career game, last-second shot lift Wizards

Feb 26, 2008 - 5:33 AM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- DeShawn Stevenson's career night helped the Washington Wizards get a rare road win against the New Orleans Hornets.

Stevenson made the game-winning 3-pointer as time expired, adding to his career-best 33 points as the Wizards posted a 95-92 victory over the Hornets on Monday.

Stevenson scored 16 of his points in the final period and Brendan Haywood added 12 for the Wizards, who won for just the third time in their last 13 games while continuing to play without All-Star Caron Butler.

"I think it's resilience," Haywood said. "At some point, you get tired of losing all those close games. We've been in a lot of close games and we haven't pulled them out but, at the same time, when you lose like that, you get a little bit better."

The win snapped a 10-game road losing streak against the Hornets, who had not lost a home game to Washington since November 1, 2000 when the franchise was in Charlotte.

"If this team doesn't think people are going to play us tough, then they are delusional," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "Teams are going to play us tough and aggressive, but the biggest thing is that we played their style of basketball. We never got up and down the floor, we never caused turnovers and never pushed the tempo."

With the score tied at 88-88, Peja Stojakovic drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing to put New Orleans in front. But Haywood's layup then made it 91-90 with 51 seconds left.

After the Hornets failed to score, Stevenson made two free throws to give the Wizards a 92-91 lead.

New Orleans forward Hilton Armstrong tied the game with seven seconds to play, making the last of three foul shots - after he was given an extra free throw for a lane violation on the second.

With Washington out of timeouts, the 6-5 Stevenson hurried the ball down the floor before launching a fallaway shot in front of the Wizards' bench on the wing. The ball rattled through the rim as the buzzer sounded giving Washington its largest lead of the game and the win.

"I went to the ball just like I did all night," Stevenson said. "I got up to half court and I saw Peja try to steal the ball, I got past him and I was going to the basket. In my mind, I was thinking it's a tie game, so I just pulled up and no one was around me and it went in."

Stevenson shot 11-of-21 from the floor, including 4-of-10 from the arc, for his first-ever 30-point game.

"I really wasn't even thinking," Stevenson said. "It feels good. I'm happy that we got this win. We won by a game-winner, but it's not the only win for this team. We've got to keep pushing."

Chris Paul had 22 points and eight assists and Morris Peterson added 18 points for the Hornets, who tied a season high with their third straight loss.

New Orleans was hurt by 16 turnovers and by making just 12-of-22 free throws, which Scott felt played a part in the team's downfall.

"You are not going to win a lot of games when you miss a lot of free throws, especially in the fourth quarter," Scott said. "Obviously, we had a bunch of key misses and just played them too soft."

The Wizards narrowed an 11-point halftime deficit to 56-55 early in the third quarter, but the Hornets responded with a 9-1 run to push the lead back up to nine.

New Orleans continued to hold a lead throughout the third quarter and held a 74-68 advantage entering the fourth on Jannero Pargo's buzzer-beating half-court shot.

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