Mason Catches Fire to Lead Wiz Over Sonics
Guard Roger Mason Jr. led the Wizards to a comeback win over the Supersonics with 22 points during an NBA game at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington on March 27, 2008. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box File Photo
Following Tuesday night’s blowout loss in Portland, and with the Philadelphia 76ers quickly gaining ground, Washington could ill afford to drop another game early in this five game road swing.

It took a fast start, and a monumental effort to come from behind and finish strong after trailing by as many as 17 in the third.  
Roger Mason Jr. came off of the bench and caught fire, leading the team with 22 points and connecting on eight of his 13 attempts, including six-of-nine from beyond the three point arc.

Washington showed no effects of a hangover from the throttleing in Portland early in the game as they burst out of the gates and claimed a six point lead heading into the second period.  

But the next two quarters belonged to Seattle as the Sonics outscored the Wizards by 13 in those two periods combined.  With just under four minutes remaining in the third, Seattle appeared poised to close out the Wizards as the Sonics lead grew to 17.

Washington managed to draw within seven courtesy of a small run of their own sparked by forwards Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler and reserve guard Roger Mason Jr.

Mason saved his best work for the final stanza, however.

Sonics forward Damien Wilkins pushed the lead back nine on the first possession of the fourth quarter, but a Mason three pointer seconds later narrowed the Sonics lead to six – and more importantly gave Mason a boost of confidence, and that confidence lead Mason to become instant offense.

Mason went on to hit five three point baskets in the quarter to lead the Wizards back.  Mason’s fourth three point basket gave Washington a six point lead with 8:25 remaining to play.  

Washington’s red-hot offense inspired them to lock down on defense and force the Sonics to take tough shots.  Early in the game Seattle thrived off of second chances and easy putbacks as they abused Washington on the offensive glass.  During the critical fourth quarter though, Washington worked on defense to make everything much more difficult for Seattle.

Washington finished the game with 11 steals and six blocked shots which helped them to the win despite the fact they were outrebounded 49-32.

Jamison notched yet another double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds) after a tough outing in Portland in which he failed to score in double figures.  Caron Butler appears to be finding his rhythm nicely since returning from injury – Butler stuffed the box score with 21 points, nine assists, five rebounds and thre steals.

Four of the five Wizards starters and two reserves (Mason and Darius Songalia) achieved double digit scoring totals.

Washington’s will head to California for the next two games of the road trip to face Sacramento Friday evening before heading out to face Kobe Bryant’s Lakers on Sunday evening.

The Wizards now stand 1-1 on the road trip and the win in Portland helped Washington maintain a slim half-game lead over the 76ers in the standings.