Mon, Mar 30, 2009 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Arenas returns, but can't help the Wiz

AGENCIES , WASHINGTON

The Detroit Pistons held off the Washington Wizards 98-96 on Saturday, with Gilbert Arenas denied a dramatic return from injury when his three-pointer was blocked in the closing seconds.

Arenas, playing for the first time this season, could only watch as Kwame Brown rejected his shot with two seconds to play, ending a three-game skid for the Pistons.

“I saw that Gilbert was going to go for the shot as soon as he got the ball,” Brown told reporters. “I jumped to contest it and I was able to get a piece of the ball.”

Arenas, who had missed 156 of the Wizards’ last 173 games because of three surgeries, said it felt good to be back.

“I feel fine right now,” he said. “The stiffness usually doesn’t kick in until the body settles.”

Detroit (35-37) are eighth in the Eastern Conference, while Washington (17-57) have the worst record in the conference.

Richard Hamilton scored 31 points for the Pistons, including two free throws with five seconds to play that gave Detroit a 98-95 lead.

Arenas hit the first of two free throws a second later, but missed the second. He grabbed the rebound and fired off a three-pointer that could have won the game.

Brown blocked the shot and Washington’s Caron Butler got the rebound, missing a two-pointer.

“Kwame Brown did a great defensive job,” Arenas said. “I tried to use the ball to get some space but he was there.”

The Wizards guard finished with 15 points and 10 assists. Antawn Jamison led the Wizards with 21 points.

BULLS 112, PACERS 106

At Chicago, John Salmons scored 22 points and hit two late three-pointers as Chicago pulled out a wild victory over Indiana for its fourth straight win.

Ben Gordon added 25 points as the Bulls matched their longest win streak in two years.

HEAT 102, BUCKS 85

At Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 27 points and Udonis Haslem had 16 points and 12 rebounds for his 100th career double-double as Miami improved its stance in the Eastern Conference playoff chase by beating reeling Milwaukee.

James Jones and Michael Beasley each scored 11 and Jermaine O’Neal added 10 for the Heat, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

Richard Jefferson scored 32 and Dan Gadzuric had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, which lost its fifth straight.

BOBCATS 96, KNICKS 85

At Charlotte, North Carolina, Gerald Wallace had 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as Charlotte matched a modest franchise record for victories by beating New York.

Larry Brown earned a split in the season series with his former team, coaching the fifth-year Bobcats to their 33rd win in his first season to stay in the hunt for their first playoff berth.

Wilson Chandler and Al Harrington scored 18 points apiece for the Knicks, who lost for the seventh time in eight games.

JAZZ 104, SUNS 99, OT

At Salt Lake City, Utah, Deron Williams scored seven of his 21 points in overtime as Utah rallied to beat Phoenix, blowing a 21-point, third-quarter lead before tying it with a frenzied comeback at the end of regulation.

Williams also had 13 assists and scored Utah’s last four points during a 9-2 run to close the fourth quarter and force overtime with the game tied at 90-90.

Williams only had one field goal in overtime, but was five-for-five from the foul line and made all nine of his free throws during the game.

NUGGETS 129, WARRIORS 116

At Denver, Colorado, Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points and Linas Kleiza had 22 as Denver won its third straight.

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