Sessions' last-second shot helps Bucks down WizardsApr 3, 2008 - 4:24 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON (Ticker) - The Milwaukee Bucks looked to rookie Ramon Sessions to come up big with almost no time left.
Sessions hit a jumper from the corner as the final horn sounded to lift the Bucks to a 110-109 victory over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
The Wizards led, 109-108, and appeared to have the game in hand when Caron Butler won a jump ball against Sessions at the Bucks' end with 6.3 seconds left. Sessions tracked down the loose ball near the Wizards' endline and called timeout with 1.1 seconds left.
"I saw (Antonio) Daniels long, but I don't think he saw me and he was kind of jogging to get the ball, and I just ran down and tracked it down and was able to get it," Sessions said. "I knew we had one timeout left, so I called the timeout and we had 1.1 seconds left to go in the game."
Royal Ivey inbounded the ball at the timeline to Andrew Bogut, who passed to Sessions in the left corner.
"One second is an eternity in a way," Bogut said. "They threw the ball out to me and I was going to shoot a turnaround and all of a sudden Gilbert (Arenas) was right in my face, so I threw it to the rook and it was the basketball play to make whether he made the shot or not - and he hit it."
Sessions' rainbow jumper was halfway to the bucket when the final horn sounded.
"Coach drew up a play and that wasn't necessarily the play that went on, but Bogut was open and they threw it to him. Two guys sunk in on him and I saw out of the corner of his eye that he was looking at me," Sessions said. "I knew he was coming to me, so I got ready and threw it up and it went in.
"I was right at the 3-point line, but it didn't matter, we only needed two. That's the biggest 1.1 seconds of my life right there. That's my biggest shot in the NBA, by far."
The stunning turn of events spoiled the return of the Wizards' three-time NBA All-Star Arenas, who had 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting and 5-of-7 free throws in 19 minutes. He quickly left the locker room without being interviewed after the game.
"I figured he was going to play after the shootaround earlier today," Wizards forward Caron Butler said. "He was really focused, getting his body and shot right. He was really mentally ready so I knew hew as in game mode."
Charlie Villanueva led Milwaukee with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Bogut finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Ivey converted a three-point play with 2:20 left that pulled the Bucks to 107-106. Bogut's follow shot gave the Bucks a 108-107 lead with 1:40 left.
"Royal made some huge plays and a big shot by Sessions," said Bucks guard Michael Redd, who had 11 points and five rebounds. "It took me eight years to get a buzzer-beater and it took him less than one."
Arenas missed a jumper with 39 seconds left but made two free throws that gave the Wizards a 109-108 lead with 15.1 seconds left.
Butler led the Wizards with 18 points, while Antawn Jamison, who sprained his right shoulder while saving the loose ball from going out of bounds during the waning seconds, added 18 points along with eight rebounds.
But all eyes were on Arenas, who missed 66 games since undergoing left knee surgery on November 21 and had not played since November 16 against Minnesota. In that game, he had 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting and eight assists.
In Arenas' typically flamboyant fashion, he did not join the team on the bench until 5 minutes, 30 seconds remained in the first quarter of this one.
"It's kind of freakish the way he came out," Bogut said. "He comes out, doesn't warm-up, and just runs out in the first quarter, which is kind of unusual. I haven't seen that before. Even his teammates were laughing."
"Everything Gilbert does is going to be big," Butler said. "He had a big entrance and he deserved the standing ovation. Behind closed doors you don't see how hard he worked to get back on the court. He was going through a lot mentally and physically.
Arenas entered the game nine seconds later to cheers from the home crowd and promptly snuck backdoor for a reverse layup with 4:49 left in the period.
"To get that first basket off his first play was good," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "That makes him feel good. It was a typical backdoor play in our offense. It was good for us to get him back and for him it was good. It was really good to have our guys on the floor at one time."
"We shared some ups and downs," continued Butler, who aggravated his sore left wrist on the final jump ball. "To see him back on the court, smiling and happy to be out there pain-free, was a sigh of relief. I'm happy he returned, but most importantly we need to get a win and clinch a playoff spot. We need to get some momentum."
Coupled with Indiana's loss to Boston, the Wizards would have clinched a playoff spot with a victory over the Bucks, who were eliminated from the playoff hunt by virtue of Atlanta's overtime victory over Toronto.
Arenas made two 3-pointers before missing another as the horn sounded ending the first quarter.
At halftime, Arenas led the Wizards with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting with one assist and one foul in eight minutes as Washington led, 61-54, at the break.
"Nothing surprises me with Gilbert," Wizards reserve guard Roger Mason Jr. said. "He is the master of surprises. He didn't miss a beat. He had a great performance and it's too bad we couldn't get the win."
In the third quarter, Arenas missed the only shot he took, grabbed one rebound and committed two turnovers in 4:10 of playing time.
He did not start the fourth quarter but re-entered the game with 7:23 left.
The Bucks, who trailed by 11 points late in the third quarter, pulled to 100-95 with a 7-2 run midway through the fourth quarter, capped by Bobby Simmons' jumper with 5:26 left.
"It's not even about losing the playoff spot, it's about the way we lost this game to a team that isn't even going to the playoffs," Wizards center Brendan Haywood said. "This isn't how you want to execute going into the playoffs."
WASHINGTON 109 FINAL
Apr 2 9:26 PM
WASHINGTON 86 END, 3RD QTR
Apr 2 8:46 PM
WASHINGTON 61 HALFTIME
Apr 2 8:04 PM
WASHINGTON 33 END, 1ST QTR
Apr 2 7:35 PM
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