Caron Butler made a layup with 3.9 seconds left and Washington held its breath as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James missed a potential series-ending layup at the buzzer, giving the Wizards an 88-87 victory on Wednesday night and reducing their deficit to 3-2 in the overheated best-of-seven first-round series.
Butler scored 32 points for the Wizards, who played without point guard Gilbert Arenas, who announced beforehand that his season was over because of a bothersome knee.
James scored 24 of his 34 points in the second half.
The Cavaliers led by five points with 1:47 left but allowed Washington to score the final six points and end a five-game playoff losing streak in Cleveland.
Boston 110, Atlanta 85 -- In a game featuring a flagrant foul and four technical fouls, the Celtics took charge early and held off the visiting Hawks late to move one game away from reaching the second round by taking a 3-2 lead in the series.
Paul Pierce scored 22 points, and Ray Allen turned back the final Hawks’ charge with three three-pointers in a three-minute span of the third quarter. Kevin Garnett scored 20 and Allen had 19 points.
Joe Johnson, who had 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter of Game 4, scored 21, but Mike Bibby continued to struggle in Boston, scoring six points while recording one assist for the third straight road game.
Al Horford, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds, was called for flagrant foul when he took down Garnett late in the first half.
Garnett and Johnson received double technical fouls for jawing in the third quarter and Hawks Coach Mike Woodson and Josh Smith got technicals after Allen’s hard foul on Horford late in the game.
The Celtics took a 58-43 halftime lead, holding Atlanta without a field goal for more than seven minutes of the second quarter. Atlanta, however, pulled the score to 60-54 before Allen’s three-point spree.