Gilbert Arenas hit a 14-foot jumper at the buzzer last night, giving the Washington Wizards a dramatic 112-110 victory over the Bulls in Chicago and a 3-2 lead in their first-round NBA playoff series. Game 6 is tomorrow night at the MCI Center.
Chicago's Jannero Pargo hit a 3-pointer, his third of the fourth quarter, to tie the game with 5.2 seconds remaining as the Bulls fought back from a 22-point, second-half deficit.
But after a timeout, Arenas took the ball out front, moved left with Kirk Hinrich guarding him, and hit one of the biggest shots of his career.
Larry Hughes scored a career playoff-high 33 points for the Wizards, who had a 10-point lead with 41 seconds to go.
The last time Washington won a playoff series was in 1982, when it defeated New Jersey, 2-0.
A pair of 3-pointers by Pargo and another by Hinrich with 11.6 seconds left cut the deficit to 109-107.
Hughes then sank the second of two free throws with 11.4 seconds to go -- 14 seconds after Antawn Jamison had missed a pair from the line -- to put Washington up by 3 and set the stage for a wild finish at the United Center.
The Wizards then fouled Hinrich before he could get off a 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left.
Hinrich missed both, but after the second one bounded back to the line, he scrambled for the ball and flipped it to Pargo, who hit a 3-pointer from the left side to tie it.
But Arenas who finished with 16 points on just 5-for-14 shooting, put an end to the celebration with his smooth shot over Hinrich.
Spurs 99, Nuggets 89 -- Tony Parker scored 21 points, Tim Duncan had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and host San Antonio eliminated Denver, 4-1, in their Western Conference first-round series. San Antonio, which lost the first game of the series, moves on to a second-round matchup with Seattle.
After twice falling behind in the third, the Spurs slowly pulled away in the final period. Glenn Robinson, who was cut by New Orleans in March and signed as a free agent last month, hit a jumper and then followed with a long 3-pointer that made it 80-72 with 7:35 to play. The lead reached as high as 12. Manu Ginobili added 18 points and Robert Horry scored 17, including a pair of key 3-pointers in the third for the Spurs. Carmelo Anthony finished with 25 points for Denver.