Jamison scores 36, keys Wizards' OT win vs. Clippers

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Down by four points with seven seconds to play against one of the worst teams in the NBA, the Washington Wizards somehow found a way to win on Saturday night.

The Los Angeles Clippers, starting their 29th different lineup of the season and fresh off losses of 22 and 24 points, led most of the second half. When Corey Maggette hit two free throws for that four-point lead, Antawn Jamison had to take over.

Jamison scored 36 points, including three key free throws to send the game into overtime, leading Washington to a 119-109 victory.

He hit a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left to cut the Clippers' lead to 98-97. Tim Thomas answered with two free throws to make it 100-97. Jamison, poised to take a potential game-tying 3-pointer, was fouled by Cuttino Mobley, and made all three to tie the score.

"I don't know what happened. I thought [Mobley] felt he had the opportunity to get the ball, but he couldn't," Jamison said. "I was kind of open. It was one of those shots that I felt confident enough that if he didn't foul me, I would have made it."

Thomas missed an 18-foot jumper at the buzzer, and the game went into overtime. Jamison scored two quick baskets in the extra period.

A dejected Mobley thought the call by the NBA's most senior referee was wrong.

"He sold it. Dick Bavetta went for it," Mobley said. "That's terrible, but it's his call. I'm disappointed.

"This is the NBA, you know what I'm saying? The kid had a free shot. Ain't nobody touched him while he was shooting the ball," Mobley said.

Once regulation was over, the Clippers, in the fourth game of a five-game cross-country trip, had little left.

"We said, 'We're going to win this game,'" Jamison said. "I didn't want to not be aggressive. I wanted to set the tone. I knew that if we could get a good couple of minutes starting the overtime, that we'd find a way to pull it off."

While the Clippers have lost 233 games to injury this year -- most in the NBA -- the Wizards have had their share of costly injuries, too.

Caron Butler, who missed 16 games with a left hip flexor, played his second game since his return, but they were without starting center Brendan Haywood, missing with a strain of his left patella tendon. Darius Songaila started in his place.

Songaila was solid with 14 points and eight rebounds. Butler had 16 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

"It was a classic overtime NBA game -- and the home team won," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said.

The Clippers were led by Maggette, who had 34 -- one away from his season high. In the end, it was the foul shots that mattered.

"You should let the players decide it. The players should decide that one. If he makes the shot, he makes the shot," Mobley said. "Nobody touched him while he was going up. Oh well, hey, he called it, so I'll take it. I'll take it."

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy was philosophical about his team's 11th loss in 13 games.

"I didn't look at the replays but the referee called a foul, so it was a foul," Dunleavy said. "Unfortunately, we can't put ourselves in that position. He's a veteran guy, he knows that. He felt badly about it. We'll just move on to the next one."

Game notes
Clippers F Al Thornton had a left knee contusion in the second quarter and did not return. ... Washington G Gilbert Arenas, who had left knee surgery on Nov. 21, said he will have an MRI on Tuesday, and will play if he's given clearance. ... Los Angeles C Chris Kaman missed his fourth straight game with a sore back. "Chris is going to be out a while, I think. It doesn't make sense for us to take any risks with him," Dunleavy said.

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