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Wizards hold off Jazz at buzzer

Associated Press

Larry Hughes hit a shot from the top of the key to put Washington ahead with 46.4 seconds left, and Utah’s Keith McLeod missed a layup at the buzzer to give the Wizards an 85-84 victory Thursday night.

It was Washington’s first win at Salt Lake City since 1997.

Gilbert Arenas scored 29 and Hughes finished with 25, including what proved to be the game-winner.

Hughes could have easily cost the Wizards the game when McLeod stole the ball from him with about 6 seconds remaining. McLeod drove and got off a shot in time, but it bounced off the backboard and rim and Washington got the rebound at the buzzer.

McLeod, who had Raja Bell running with him but went for the shot instead of passing it off, yelled for a foul but didn’t get it – a complaint Utah had all night. Washington shot 37 free throws to Utah’s 11, including just three in the second half.

After the horn, the Wizards ran off the bench to celebrate their first victory in the Delta Center since Nov. 3, 1997, also the last season the Wizards swept the Jazz until Thursday.

Matt Harpring had 18 points and six assists off the bench for Utah, which lost forward Andrei Kirilenko for the season when he broke his left wrist early in the first quarter.

Nuggets 117, Lakers 96: At Denver, DerMarr Johnson had 20 points and helped slow Kobe Bryant in the second half, leading Denver to a rout that gave Los Angeles its longest losing streak in 11 years.

The Lakers have lost seven straight and dropped 5 1/2 games behind Denver for the Western Conference’s final playoff spot with 14 games left.

Rockets 99, Cavaliers 80: At Houston, Tracy McGrady scored 31 points and Bob Sura had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists on his 32nd birthday, leading Houston over Cleveland.

Grizzlies 105, Nets 96: At East Rutherford, N.J., Lorenzen Wright and Jason Williams each scored 20 points and Memphis shot 70 percent in the first half to end New Jersey’s five-game winning streak.

Bobcats 108, Magic 94: At Orlando, Fla., Gerald Wallace scored 22 points and rookie Emeka Okafor registered his 36th double-double of the season with 23 points and 10 rebounds, leading Charlotte to a win over Orlando as the Magic lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

Kings 109, Mavericks 101: At Sacramento, Calif., Peja Stojakovic hit six 3-pointers on the way to a season-high 38 points, and Sacramento avoided a regular-season sweep by Dallas. Sacramento’s Mike Bibby had 17 points and eight assists.

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