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Mason's electric fourth quarter rallies Wizards past Sonics

Mar 27, 2008 - 5:58 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Coming off an embarrassing blowout loss the night before, the Washington Wizards appeared headed toward another one through three quarters. Then, Roger Mason showed up.

Mason scored 17 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter - including a career high-tying six 3-pointers - as the Wizards overcame a 17-point second-half deficit en route to a 104-99 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday.

In its 20-point loss on Tuesday to Portland, Washington shot just 36 percent (29-for-81) from the field, was outrebounded, 55-36, and could not take advantage of a Trail Blazers team which was without leading scorer Brandon Roy for the better part of the final three quarters due to injury.

In this contest, a similar effort nearly prevailed as the Wizards were outboarded for the game, 49-32, and shot just 39 percent (24-for-62) through three quarters.

However, unlike Tuesday's game where Washington was unable to get any closer than 14 points in the second half, the Wizards were able to make a substantial run after Seattle established a 73-56 lead midway through the third period on a running hook shot from Francisco Elson.

"After playing (Tuesday) night, I wanted to use some more guys off the bench, and it just didn't work out," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.

"I wanted to make sure that our starters got some rest but I made up my mind at halftime that we would go with a short rotation, and it worked out for us because those two guys, Roger and Darius (Songaila), really stepped for us."

Antawn Jamison converted a three-point play and Caron Butler followed with a 3-pointer to spark a quarter-ending 12-2 run.

The Wizards' frantic comeback continued into the fourth as Mason torched the Sonics for five 3-pointers in the final period alone, the third of which moved Washington to within one point at 84-83.

"He (Mason) really did a good job," Jordan said. "He really bailed us out. We call him our 'quiet assassin' because he doesn't say much. He doesn't show a lot of emotion on the floor, he just gets the job done."

"I came off the bench and just wanted to be aggressive," said Mason, who was signed by the Wizards as a free agent last summer. "I hit the first rhythm shot, and coach told me that was a good shot, and I should get it going. It gave me confidence to keep going out there and it felt good."

On the next possession, Jamison stole the ball from Johan Petro and converted a layup on the other end to give his team a one-point advantage.

Shortly thereafter, Mason followed with his final two 3-pointers and a short jumper.

Less than a minute after Mason drained his last shot, Butler hit a layup to give the Wizards their biggest lead at 101-92 and cap the 45-19 run which turned their 17-point, third-quarter deficit into a comfortable lead with 2:27 remaining.

Mason went 6-of-7 in the final quarter to lead the Wizards, who shot 70 percent (14-for-20) over the final 12 minutes.

"In the fourth quarter, it wasn't just the points, it was the energy level that was raised," Mason said. "We were able to get some stops, get some turnovers and get out there."

Butler scored 21 points while Jamison overcame his second straight poor shooting performance to finish with 17 and 12 rebounds for the Wizards.

"We played a lot of good minutes to put ourselves in position to win the game," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "We couldn't guard Roger. We couldn't guard Caron. And we had a little trouble guarding Darius. We knew who was a good 3-point shooter and we let them get loose when we were in the zone."

Rookie Kevin Durant scored 32 points - his highest total since December 12 - and Nick Collison matched his career high with 21 boards for the Sonics.

"He (Collison) was great," Carlesimo said. "He was one of the guys who played just a few too many minutes. He had 15 boards at the half and played his heart out."

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    Mar 27 12:15 AM
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    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Wizards 92, SuperSonics 89  4th - 5:29Mar 27 12:00 AM

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