tampabay.com

Wizards win first series since 1982

By wire services
Published May 7, 2005


WASHINGTON - For the first time since 1982, the Wizards advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

Confetti flooded the MCI Center floor Friday after Washington defeated Chicago 94-91 in Game 6 of the East series behind 19 points from each of their Big Three and a fluke turnover that led to the go-ahead basket.

The Wizards open the second round Sunday at top-seeded Miami.

With 36 seconds left and the score tied at 91 (where it had been since Antawn Jamison's jumper with 2:08 left), the Bulls called timeout. But Chris Duhon turned his back just as Kirk Hinrich threw him an inbounds pass.

The ball bounced off Duhon's back and was scooped up by Jared Jeffries, who raced downcourt for a dunk with 33 seconds left.

The Bulls had two more possessions. But Jannero Pargo missed badly with a jumper, and after Washington's Juan Dixon made a free throw, Andres Nocioni missed a 3-pointer. Tyson Chandler got the rebound but shot a 2-pointer, missing it to end the game.

Gilbert Arenas rebounded and tossed the ball into the crowd, the final two seconds ticking off as the ball was airborne.

Jamison, Arena and Larry Hughes scored 19 as the Wizards won the final four games and advanced to the second round for the first time since a 2-0 sweep of New Jersey in 1982, when the first round was best-of-three and the team was called the Bullets.

This was the ninth time in league history a team recovered from an 0-2 deficit to advance.

Suns guard reportedly to earn MVP award

Phoenix's Steve Nash will be named the Most Valuable Player, the Associated Press and ESPN.com reported. The award will be announced Sunday.

Nash averaged 15.5 points and a league-high 11.5 assists in his first season with the Suns after leaving Dallas.

He would become the first Canadian MVP and the sixth guard to win the award, joining Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Allen Iverson and Michael Jordan.

DRAFT: Illinois junior Dee Brown, the Big Ten player of the year, declared but has not hired an agent. Brown, who has until June21 to pull out, averaged 13.3 points.

Also, North Carolina freshman Marvin Williams hired an agent, meaning he can't return to school.

BUCKS: Coach Terry Porter was retained, but assistants Mike Schuler and Jerome Kersey were let go. Porter went 30-52 in his second season.

TIMBERWOLVES: Owner Glen Taylor said he expects to name a new coach within the next month. All three assistants, Randy Wittman, Jerry Sichting and Sidney Lowe, have applied, but Taylor said he's willing to wait if an assistant from a playoff team becomes interested.

Flip Saunders was fired in February and replaced on an interim basis by Kevin McHale, the vice president of basketball operations.