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Wizards end 2-game stumble with win over Lakers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Wall had 28 points and 14 assists, leading the Washington Wizards to a heated 117-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.

Tempers flared with 2:14 remaining and the Wizards ahead 108-98, as Jordan Hill and Nick Young got into a scuffle with Gooden after a battle for a loose ball.

Referees Scott Foster, Mark Ayotte and Nick Buchert went to the video monitor at the scorer’s table review, and Gooden was assessed a Flagrant 2 foul and was ejected. So was Hill, who received a technical foul. Young also got a technical, but stayed in the game.

Bradley Beal added 18 points for the Wizards, who began this four-game western trip with back-to-back losses to Sacramento and Portland.

Marcin Gortat was back in the lineup, getting 13 points and 13 rebounds in 34 minutes after missing his first game of the season because of pain in his lower back. Nene sat out his 13th in a row with a sprained left knee.

The Wizards are having their best season since 2007-08, when they ended a string of four consecutive playoff berths. They’ve already surpassed last season’s win total by seven with 13 games remaining on the schedule, and are sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a seven-game lead over the New York Knicks for the final playoff seed.

Young and Jodie Meeks each scored 21 points for the injury-jinxed Lakers, who welcomed Young, Hill and Steve Nash back into the mix and had 12 players in uniform for the first time since March 4.

Coach Mike D’Antoni, unable to play Wesley Johnson because of an upper-respiratory infection, used his 30th different starting lineup with Robert Sacre at center and Pau Gasol shifting to power forward alongside newcomer Kent Bazemore. Gasol had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Nash, who sat out the previous 15 games because of chronic nerve damage in his back that has limited him to 11 appearances all season, had 11 assists and five points in 19 minutes off the bench. On March 13, following an individual workout by Nash at Oklahoma City, D’Antoni told the media that the two-time MVP was done for the season.

Young sat out the previous 11 games and 17 of 18 with a sore left knee, and Hill was sidelined for eight games due to a sore right knee. All three of the returning Lakers ended up on the court at the same time when Nash and Hill reported in with 3:26 left in the first quarter and Los Angeles trailing 24-12.

Trevor Booker’s short running jumper gave the Wizards their biggest lead, 72-51, with 7:22 left in the third quarter. Nash reported back in with 3:44 left in the period and orchestrated an 18-7 Lakers run that included seven points by Sacre, whose dunk with 3.3 seconds on the clock narrowed the gap to 88-81.

But Gooden scored 10 of nine of his 11 points during the first 4 minutes of the fourth quarter, including a putback layup that gave Washington a 103-88 cushion.

Andre Miller beat the horn with a 3-pointer from the left corner in front of the Washington bench, giving the Wizards a 33-21 lead going into the second quarter. Teammate Trevor Ariza, who won a championship ring with the Lakers in 2008-09, didn’t make a field goal until his 3-pointer with 1:38 left in the half stretched Washington’s margin to 55-40. He finished with 12.

NOTES: The Lakers failed to sell out for the fifth time, drawing 18,112 — 885 short of capacity. … Nash has played in just three games since his 40th birthday on Feb. 7, when he scored 19 points at Philadelphia. … C Chris Kaman and G MarShon Brooks suited up for the Lakers, but didn’t play. … Ariza had seven 3-pointers against the Lakers last March 22 at Staples Center. At the time it was a career-high for Ariza, who has bettered that total twice since them — including Feb. 12 at Houston, when he connected 10 times from behind the arc. … Wall is the only player to start each of the Wizards’ first 69 games. No one has started all 82 for them since swingman DeShawn Stevenson in 2007-08. … The Wizards have won four of the last five meetings with the Lakers after losing nine straight. … The Lakers have held opponents under 100 just 18 times. The only team that has done it fewer times is Philadelphia (nine). … The Lakers’ only lead came after Meeks made a layup for the first basket of the game.

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