TORONTO - Antawn Jamison's big fourth quarter silenced the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday.
Jamison scored 10 of his game-high 30 points in the final quarter as Washington beat Toronto 106-102, handing the reeling Raptors their fourth loss in a row.
With Toronto threatening to reclaim the lead late in the game, Jamison buried a long jumper before holding his index finger to his lips as if to shush the crowd. Brendan Haywood followed with an emphatic block on Chris Bosh's layup attempt, and Washington (6-10) held on from there en route to its third win in the last four games.
Gilbert Arenas had 22 points and nine rebounds while Caron Butler added 19 points and seven rebounds in his 500th career NBA game to pace the Wizards (6-10). Haywood chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds in the victory.
Bosh scored 18 of his 22 points in the second quarter, while Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon added 20 apiece for the Raptors (7-12), who lost for the eighth time in the past 10 games. And just like every other loss during that string, Toronto was undone by an uneven second-half performance in front of 15,776 fans at the Air Canada Centre.
The Raptors were downright abysmal in the fourth, shooting just 8-for-23. The Wizards finished 11-for-16 in the quarter.
"I thought we had good looks," said Raptors head coach Jay Triano. "They changed up their coverages, but I thought we had the right guys shooting the basketball. What are you gonna do?"
Playing better in the second half would be a start.
Coming into the game, the Raptors had been outscored after halftime in nine straight games. Things looked more promising Tuesday, as Toronto quickly erased a one-point halftime deficit and led by four midway through the third quarter.
After the Wizards responded with a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead, Toronto scored the final eight points of the quarter - punctuated by a Marco Belinelli three from the corner - to enjoy a 77-72 advantage entering the fourth.
The Wizards went back in front after Arenas converted a three-point play, and Jarrett Jack missed a wide-open three that would have given Toronto the lead. Jamison followed with a layup, then hit a floater in the lane and a free throw to give Washington a 93-87 lead with 4:04 remaining. Toronto cut the deficit to two, but would get no closer.
Calderon said the team has struggled to put together a complete performance - and knows it.
"We've gotta try to finish the games, try to play for a full game," said Calderon. "We've been talking about that all season. We did a much better job today, but we just couldn't finish. We missed some shots, and (there were) some turnovers."
Triano refused to blame forward Hedo Turkoglu, who went just 1-for-7 in the final quarter and missed several key shots down the stretch.
"I'm not going to take the ball out of his hands," said Triano. "He's a guy who has made plays in the past, and he feels as bad about it as anybody. We do it again and we give him the basketball. He's a guy who can make plays for people."
Triano also bristled at the suggestion that the starting lineup might need some tinkering.
"Were they bad?" Triano asked. "We didn't get off to a bad start. The third quarter, we were fine. I don't know if it's the starting lineup."
Calderon was red-hot from the outset, pouring in 11 first-quarter points on a variety of layups and jumpers to keep Toronto close. And while his teammates weren't much help - the rest of the Raptors shot 5-for-21 in the opening quarter - Toronto trailed just 25-24 after one.
Bosh scored five straight points early in the second quarter to put the Raptors ahead, but Washington cut the lead on consecutive threes by Butler and Arenas. That sparked Toronto, as Bosh made a layup on a nice pass from Amir Johnson and added a putback slam off his own miss on the next possession as the Raptors opened up a 39-32 advantage.
The Wizards answered with threes on three of their next four possessions, and the teams traded leads right to the buzzer, when Earl Boykins hit an 18-foot jumper to put Washington up 55-54 at the half.
Notes: Toronto has allowed 100 or more points in 10 straight games. ... Jack matched his season high with 18 points off the bench. ... Bosh, who added 14 rebounds, missed his first six shots of the game before hitting six of his next seven. ... Toronto F Reggie Evans (foot sprain) remains day-to-day. Evans, who was acquired in a June trade with Philadelphia, has yet to play a regular-season game. ... The Wizards were without Gs Mike James (hand) and Javaris Crittenton (strained foot tendon) and F Mike Miller (calf strain). ... The Raptors hit the road for games in Atlanta, Washington and Chicago before returning home to face Minnesota.
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