The last-place and distracted Washington Wizards overcame a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit last night, beating the Orlando Magic, 104-97, in the team’s first game at the
The Wizards earned several standing ovations in the final period - an unusual display from the typically subdued Washington crowds - for their perseverance in what has been one of the most difficult weeks in franchise history.
Arenas is being investigated by federal and local authorities for bringing guns to the Verizon Center and for related incidents. He was suspended indefinitely Wednesday by NBA commissioner David Stern.
Four Wizards - Randy Foye, Andray Blatche, JaVale McGee, and Nick Young - were fined $10,000 apiece for making fun of the situation. Coach Flip Saunders has banned gambling on the team plane.
“It was foolish, stupid, immature,’’ said Foye, “but I’ve got to be a man and accept my penalty and I apologize to the fans and the organization for behaving in that manner.’’
Foye scored a season-high 20 points.
Before the game, Antawn Jamison took a microphone to address fans. Jamison, who had 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wizards, called the whole situation “very embarrassing’’ and told the sellout crowd “being a positive role model is something we don’t take lightly.’’
Dwight Howard had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Magic, who have lost four straight for the first time since February 2007. All four of the losses have come against sub-.500 teams.
Orlando played most of the game without guard Vince Carter, who injured his left shoulder in a collision in the second quarter and did not return.
The team removed nearly all traces of their star guard from the arena, taking Arenas-related merchandise out of stores and editing him out of the pregame video shown on the scoreboard.
“It’s kind of like a circus every day,’’ said DeShawn Stevenson, who met with his lawyer Friday in preparation for testifying before the grand jury investigating Arenas, “but at the same time it’s our jobs and we need to take it seriously.’’
Timberwolves 116, Pacers 109 - Al Jefferson had 25 points and 12 rebounds as Minnesota took a home win over Indiana.
Kevin Love had 18 points and 13 rebounds, and Ryan Gomes added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who snapped a five-game losing streak.
Danny Granger scored 19 points in his return from a 16-game absence because of a heel injury, but the All-Star missed an open look at a 3-pointer that would have tied it with about 15 seconds to play and the Pacers lost their eighth straight road game.
Hornets 103, Nets 99 - Chris Paul hit a driving scoop as he was fouled with 7.6 seconds left, and New Orleans narrowly averted a home loss by beating New Jersey.
The Hornets had blown a 15-point lead and trailed, 99-98, before Paul capped an 11-point, 18-assist performance by putting New Orleans back up for good.
David West added 32 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, which extended its winning streak to five games and won for the 12th time in 13 home games.
Trail Blazers 107, Lakers 98 - Brandon Roy scored 32 points and Portland won their ninth straight at home against Los Angeles.
The Blazers own the NBA’s longest home winning streak against the defending NBA champions.
Kobe Bryant had 32 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, who trailed by as many as 20 points in the last quarter.
Grizzlies 91, Jazz 89 - Zach Randolph had 29 points and 15 rebounds, O.J. Mayo hit a 21-foot step-back jumper with 5.2 seconds left, and Memphis escaped with a home victory over Utah.
Marc Gasol blocked C.J. Miles’s shot on Utah’s last possession, snapping the Jazz’s 11-game winning streak over the Grizzlies.
Nuggets 99, Cavaliers 97 - Host Denver, despite being injury riddled, went on a late 10-1 lead to beat Cleveland.
The Cavaliers were led by LeBron James’s 35 points.
Warriors 108, Kings 101 - Monta Ellis had 39 points and Anthony Morrow made a critical 3-pointer in the final minute as Golden State came back from an 18-point second-half deficit to beat Sacramento.
Heat 109, Suns 105 - Dwyane Wade had 33 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists and Jermaine O’Neal made the go-ahead basket with 29.7 seconds left as Miami won in Phoenix.
Raptors 108, 76ers 106 - Chris Bosh (29 points, 9 rebounds) made the go-ahead 3-point play with 8.4 seconds left in leading Toronto past host Philadelphia.
Bucks 96, Bulls 93 - Andrew Bogut had 27 points, 13 rebounds, and 6 blocks, and Michael Redd added 24 points to rally Milwaukee past visiting Chicago.
Mavericks 112, Spurs 103 - Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points - 16 in the fourth quarter - to rally Dallas on the road over San Antonio.