Dave Johnson: Wizards Set Consecutive Loss Record

Dave Johnson: Wizards Set Consecutive Loss Record
March 27, 2010, 1:33 am
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Friday, March 26 2010, 9:31PM

By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comCharlotte----Had this season gone according to script Gilbert Arenas would have been playing for the Washington Wizards and the game against the Charlotte Bobcats would have had playoff implications for both teams. Sadly the script was lost long ago and the Wizards suffered a franchise record 14th consecutive defeat 107-96 to the BobcatsOn the day Arenas was in DC Superior Court where he received a sentence of 30 days in a halfway house and two years probation for a felony gun charge, the Wizards had to continue to play through.And play through the Wizards did, but they just did not have enough to secure a win on the road against a Bobcats team in playoff contention and playing aggressive defense.Gerald Wallace led the Bobcats with 23 points and delivered the knockout blow when he completed a fast-break layup to make it 105-86 with 2:39 left in the game. Wallace went the length of the court after Tyson Chandler was able to pry it away from Andray Blatche in the post. Wallaces basket was the punctuation mark on a 20-5 run by the Bobcats. Raymond Felton added 20 points and 11 assist for the Bobcats who won for the eight time in eleven games and held an opponent under 100 points for their 13th consecutive game.It was almost a feel good story for the Wizards. Alonzo Gee, who just a few weeks ago was playing for the D-Leagues Austin Toros, responded in his first career NBA start. Gee led the Wizards in scoring with 19 points as he started in place of Al Thornton sidelines by a strained hip-flexor.Gee was also tenacious on defense. Twice Gee was able to steal the ball away from Wallace and both times delivered emphatic finishes on the break. In the third quarter Gee stunned the Charlotte crowd with a two-handed reverse dunk after a steal to bring the Wizards to within 11 points at 63-52.Turnovers forced the Wizards to chase the game. In the first half the Wizards shot 54 percent from the field but trailed the Bobcats at the break 54-45. While the Bobcats were also making shots (56 percent from the field) they also enjoyed 13 points off 11 Wizards miscues.For this Wizards team, the comeback part of the script was familiar. Even though the Bobcats did find a way to extend their lead to 17 points in the third quarter, the scrappy undermanned Wizards did not go away.Early in the fourth the Bobcats suddenly were plagued by turnovers and the Wizards took advantage. There was real hope for the Wizards when Randy Foye and Nick Young swarmed around Stephen Jackson as he came off a Chandler screen. The ball came loose and Foye lunged on the floor to recover it and then Young finished the break with a 10-foot jumper to pull the Wizards to within four points at 85-81 with 9:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. It would be as close as the Wizards would get the rest of the way.Young finished with 10 points and Foye scored all 17 of his point sin the second half, but there was nothing left to complete the game.As for Arenas, his legal future has been clarified and now over the coming months his basketball future will no doubt come into focus. Arenas has not been with the Wizards since being suspended by the NBA in January, but club personnel have been in contact an head coach Flip Saunders spoke to him last week.The biggest thing now is that Gilbert knows what everything is and we can move forward, said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. I am happy he is in a situation where he can set a plan for what he wants to do with his life and do the things he needs to do.And the Wizards released the following statement on the sentencing of Arenas:We believe todays sentencing of Gilbert Arenas can help bring closure to the unfortunate situation that has played out over the last three months. Gilbert has admitted his mistakes and will now pay his debt to our community. We are confident that he has learned something significant from the experience and we now look forward to moving on and focusing on building this team into the contender that our outstanding fans deserve.