Can't hold on Wizards
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New York @
104 - 106
Record: 9-10
WASHINGTON (AP) -- With 55 seconds remaining, Brendan Haywood missed two free throws that would have put the Washington Wizards in the lead. The second one was an ugly short-arm that had no chance of going in.

"I was mad," teammate Gilbert Arenas said. "But I couldn't show him I was mad."

Haywood turned mad to glad in a hurry. He grabbed a rebound and converted a three-point play with 7.1 seconds remaining Friday night, giving Washington a 106-104 victory over the New York Knicks.

"A big play," Arenas said. "I told him I was going to give him $10,000 in gift certificates."

"Knowing Gilbert," responded Haywood, the team's runaway miser, "he'll give me $10,000 in gift certificates to Victoria's Secret. That's the type of guy he is."

Haywood's heroics came on his team's 27th offensive rebound, tied for the most in an NBA game this season. Antawn Jamison had 25 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards, who have won five of six.

Arenas had 20 points and seven assists. All the Washington starters reached double figures early in the third quarter during an entertaining game of fast breaks, dunks and flashy moves.

Haywood finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds, but nearly pulled another fourth-quarter disappearing act. He was scoreless in the second half before his game-winning three-point play.

"Missing those free throws really hurt. ... You have to keep your mind clear, because you never know how it's going to come back," Haywood said. "Tonight it just came back on me, and I was able to make the play. I've been saying it for a whole year: I want to play in the fourth, so I might as well do something when I'm in there."

The Knicks were more upset over another play by Haywood. The Wizards center blocked Stephon Marbury's short jumper as the ball was on the way down with 41 seconds left. The official ruled that the ball was going to fall short of the rim, so no goaltending was called.

"Yeah, he did goaltend it," Marbury said. "The ball was up in the air going down. They didn't call it. There's nothing you can do about it. It's not like we're playing CYO and you can protest the game. You've just got to live with it."

After Haywood's three-point play, New York had two final chances to tie, but Nazr Mohammed missed a tough shot in traffic and Kurt Thomas failed to put in the rebound as time expired.

"I got a good look at it and missed the shot," Mohammed said. "Besides an open layup, you can't ask for a better shot. I got a wide open shot within a foot in the paint."

Mohammed finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Marbury had 18 points and seven assists. The Knicks have lost four of five and has fallen below .500, although they remain in first place in the Atlantic Division.

"They had 27 offensive rebounds, that's sickening," Mohammed said. "As far as being the big man on this team, I hate when we give up one offensive rebound."

Allan Houston, playing his first game of the season after recovering from a knee injury, scored eight points in 19 minutes.

"As it goes on, I'll get a little more comfortable," Houston said. "But for the first time out I was a little more comfortable than I thought I would be."

The Knicks shot 61 percent through three quarters but just 32 percent in the fourth, blowing an eight-point lead with nine minutes to play.

Arenas had a steal and dunk, a 3-pointer and an assist in a 10-0 run that put the Wizards ahead 99-97 with 3:55 to play, their first lead since the first quarter. Marbury made a tough layup to tie the game at 101, and a 3-pointer by Tim Thomas put New York in front, but the Knicks did not score again.

The Wizards had lost five straight to the Knicks. ... The game featured the league's top-scoring backcourts. Arenas and Larry Hughes were averaging 41.4 points coming into the game. Marbury and Jamal Crawford were averaging 38.8. "I guess we won the battle of the backcourts, but we've got to face them three more times," Arenas said. ... Wizards forward Kwame Brown served his one-game suspension for a run-in with coach Eddie Jordan. Brown boycotted a team huddle after being berated by the coach for a poor defensive play during Wednesday's game against Denver. ... Washington Redskins receiver Darnerien McCants and MLS Cup MVP Alecko Eskandarian of D.C. United were the special guest bachelors in a post-game edition of "The Dating Game." Friday's game was the second of four "singles night" promotions by the Wizards this season.

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