Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wizards Sweep Celtics, Lakers Tied For 1st!

Without Gilbert Arenas, would anyone have given the Washington Wizards a chance at winning back-to-back games against a Boston Celtics team that had only lost four times all season coming into this weekend? Probably not. On Saturday, the Wizards rallied from a five point deficit going into the fourth quarter to win 85-78 at the Verizon Center. Last night, the teams had their rematch at the Boston Garden and once again, the Wizards trailed late, falling behind 77-63 with a little more than six minutes to play. The Wizards though would not be denied, and went on a 25-6 run to close the game for an 88-83 win. Caron Butler scored nine points during that closing run, and a team high 21 for the game, while Antawn Jamison added 20 points to go with 10 rebounds... The win moves the Wizards to within 1 1/2 games of the Orlando Magic for the Southeast division lead.

Across the coast, the Los Angeles Lakers got some bad news before last night's game against the Seattle Supersonics started. Center Andrew Bynum was injured early in the third quarter of Sunday night's 100-99 victory over Memphis when he landed on teammate Lamar Odom's left foot while going for a rebound. Tests yesterday revealed Bynum had temporarily dislocated his kneecap and suffered a bone bruise. He will be out eight weeks. Without Bynum at center, the Lakers will suffer both offensively and defensively so other players will need to step up if they are going to keep pace with the Pheonix Suns. Last night, Kobe Bryant took over the game, pouring in a season-high 48 points including a game winning 18 foot jumped with 4.3 seconds to play in a hard-fought 123-121 win in Seattle. The win was the Lakers' 7th in a row, and put them into a tie with the Suns for the Pacific division lead and the best record in the Western Conference. Can the Lakers continue to grow without Bynum? Time will only tell, but this team seems to have a resiliency that last season's squad seemed to lack.


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