for this game

Wizards hold off Kings

Mar 16, 2009 - 2:48 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- With the league's worst record on the line, the Washington Wizards kept the Sacramento Kings in the cellar with a 106-104 victory on Sunday, dropping Sacramento's record against the Eastern Conference to 0-26.

Sacramento stayed on course to become the first NBA team to go winless against the other conference - in the same season that the Wizards are closing in on becoming the first to go winless against its own division. Washington's 16-51 record remains only marginally better than the Kings' 14-52.

"We didn't do things right," said Wizards forward Antawn Jamison, who scored 30 points. "But the most important thing is that we got a win, and I'll take an ugly win over a pretty loss."

The matchup between lottery-bound teams was as much about pingpong balls as basketballs, except for buzz about the college game. There were empty seats aplenty at the Verizon Center at the start of the not-very-anticipated duel, with tipoff taking place just as the NCAA bracket was being announced. The seeds were displayed on the scoreboard in the second quarter, and former North Carolina star Jamison was asked about the Tar Heels' placing during a halftime interview.

Of course, there was no way a game like this could have a tidy ending. Garcia was sure he had made his 3-pointer, but official Eli Roe immediately ruled otherwise, and the replay supported Roe's call. Mike James then made the free throw that made the score 106-104. With one last chance to win or tie, Kevin Martin missed a final 3-point attempt from near the top of the key at the buzzer.

Andray Blatche added 16 points, and Darius Songaila 15 for the Wizards. Washington played without Caron Butler, who has a tight left hamstring and will have an MRI exam Monday.

Martin scored 24 points, and Spencer Hawes had 20 to lead the Kings, who were missing Bobby Jackson (broken left cheekbone) but welcomed back Beno Udrih (out six games with a sprained right foot).

Washington made 11 of its first 12 shots and set a season high for points in a quarter with 37. The Wizards led by as many as 15 in the second quarter, and everyone was cheering when Juan Dixon threw a length-of-court pass to rookie center JaVale McGee, who somehow managed to score a basket off the backboard while being hugged and spun around by Rashad McCants in an obvious attempt to foul. McGee made the free throw for a three-point play.

But a Wizards lead is never a safe one. An 11-point halftime advantage had evaporated by the time Jason Thompson made two free throws with 1:43 to play in the third quarter, putting the Kings ahead 83-82.

That was the only Sacramento lead of the game. The Wizards went on a 15-3 run before the game got messy in the fourth quarter. Hawes and Jamison were each whistled for a technical foul, and Sacramento was even called for a rare lane violation on a free throw.

Then came the suspenseful final minute that left the Kings still at the bottom of the NBA pile.

"We definitely don't want to be labeled as the worst team," Hawes said. "There is still a lot to play for. We still have a lot to prove."

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