Boykins Hears 'Mvp,' Wins Game At The Line

Wizards 104 Bucks 102

December 03, 2009|By Michael Lee | Michael Lee , The Washington Post

WASHINGTON - -Two things occurred Wednesday night that no one could have foreseen in training camp. One, on a team with three All-Stars, Washington Wizards coach Flip Saunders would draw up a final shot for Earl Boykins. And two, Boykins would step to the foul line with fans at Verizon Center chanting, "MVP! MVP!" But Boykins has been the difference for the Wizards during their recent run of success, and he again came up with a huge fourth-quarter performance as Washington defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 104-102.

Boykins scored 11 of his 13 points in the final period as the Wizards won their second game in a row and fourth in five games. With the score tied with 10.5 seconds left, Boykins milked the clock, then got Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings to commit a foul. He calmly made both free throws as the Wizards improved to 7-10.

"It just has to do with being patient," Boykins said. "A lot of times, especially at the end of games, guys rush. And if you're able to be patient you're able to get things done."

Saunders relied heavily on his starters through the first three quarters, but he put Boykins and Andray Blatche into the game at the start of the fourth period, and they provided a boost for his ragged team. Boykins and Blatche delivered, scoring 19 of the Wizards' 27 points in the final quarter. Blatche had eight of his 10 in the period.

Gilbert Arenas led the Wizards with 22 points and Nick Young had 21, but with the game on the line, Boykins was the one making the plays. With the team trailing late, Boykins dribbled in a circle, backed up, drove back in, and as he spotted Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut moving in, zipped a pass to Brendan Haywood, who cut to the basket for a dunk to give the Wizards a 100-99 lead. And as Boykins stepped to the foul line with 17 seconds remaining, fans at Verizon Center started chanting, "MVP! MVP!"

"He was being Earl. Making big plays, running the team well," Young said. "He's out there being a mini mouse, just doing his job."

Boykins spent last season in Italy, and the Wizards called on him only after Javaris Crittenton, Mike James and Randy Foye went down with injuries, leaving the team with one point guard in Arenas.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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