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Hawks hand Wizards their first win of the season

POSTED: November 16, 2007 5:03 a.m.
ATLANTA — The Washington Wizards avoided the first 0-6 start in franchise history, beating the Atlanta Hawks 101-90 Sunday behind Caron Butler’s 24 points.

All five Washington starters scored in double figures for the first time this season. Antawn Jamison had 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Brendan Haywood also posted a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

The Wizards’ 0-5 start was their worst losing streak since late last season when they ended a six-game skid with a win in Atlanta on April 13. Washington won three of four against Atlanta last season and has won 11 of the last 13 games in the series.

Washington gave up more than 104 points a game while opening with five straight losses but held the Hawks to 39 percent shooting.

Josh Smith scored 23 points, Joe Johnson had 22 and Marvin Williams added 20 for Atlanta. Josh Childress, with 10 points, was the Hawks’ other scorer in double figures.

Gilbert Arenas scored 18 points for Washington and DeShawn Stevenson added 11. The Wizards outscored the Hawks 23-6 in second-chance points and controlled the boards 53-41.

Washington led by 19 points in the third quarter, then withstood Atlanta’s fourth-quarter rally. Two free throws by Josh Smith with 3:57 left cut it to 90-85. Washington answered with two free throws by Jamison and a driving layup by Arenas to push the lead to 94-85.

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said before the game his team played tight for the first time in a home loss to Denver on Friday. The Wizards were outscored 33-11 in the third quarter of that game and they avoided a similar letdown after leading the Hawks 51-41 at halftime. The Wizards opened the third quarter with a 20-9 run to go up 71-52.

Hawks center Zaza Pachulia played in his first game of the season but did not start. Coach Mike Woodson said rookie Al Horford will continue to start at center. Horford had nine points and 10 rebounds. Pachulia had 2 points, 3 rebounds and 3 turnovers.

Woodson is starting another rookie, Acie Law, at point guard, but Law played only 14 minutes.

Notes: The Baltimore Bullets lost their first five games in the 1966-67 season for the only other 0-5 start in Wizards history. ... The Wizards set a season high with 26 assists, including 8 by Butler, and a season low with 12 turnovers. ... The Hawks fell to 1-2 in home games. ... Washington was Atlanta’s fifth opponent in six games that appeared in last season’s playoffs.



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