WASHINGTON -- Caron Butler bailed out Gilbert Arenas and helped the Washington Wizards snap a four-game losing streak.
Butler converted a tiebreaking three-point play with 1:04 remaining and made all 15 free throws to give the Wizards a 96-95 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
"He saw a matchup where he could use his quickness against Josh Smith," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "Smith can give you nightmares with his ups, blocking shots and catching lobs over you. He liked his matchup and he was quicker. Although he did not shoot a high percentage from the field, he got to the line and made his free throws."
Butler scored 21 points on 3-of-10 shooting but extended his streak to 32 consecutive made free throws, dating to Nov. 17 against the Detroit Pistons.
"I am just trying to stay aggressive, trying to stay consistent," Butler said. "My teammates are finding me in the flow, (and I'm) getting hacked and going to the foul line and just making shots."
Butler tied the franchise record for made free throws in a game, held by several players.
The last player to accomplish the feat, coincidentally, was Arenas, who also had 21 points but committed nine turnovers and was whistled twice for charging in the final 1:29.
"I just started having turnovers the last couple of games and I have been struggling for five games now," Arenas said. "When you are aggressive, you are going to have turnovers. I am not paying attention to them because there will be some games where I have one or two and it all evens out in the end."
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 33 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Reserve guard Tyronn Lue added 18 points.
After Butler's three-point play, Lue hit a jumper that pulled the Hawks to 96-95 with 47 seconds left. Eleven seconds later, Lue drew an offensive foul on Arenas.
Smith missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 15 seconds remaining and Johnson missed an 18-footer with four seconds left as the Hawks dropped their second in a row.
"The shot looked good when it left my hand," Johnson said. "But it just didn't go down."
Added Hawks coach Mike Woodson: "We got the right shot. After watching the tape, Salim (Stoudamire) broke open and when Joe came over across the top with the live dribble, he took it upon himself to take the shot. Joe's made big shots before and I can live with that."
Wizards forward Jarvis Hayes had the assignment of guarding Johnson down the stretch.
"Jarvis came in and did a good job on Joe Johnson," Butler said. "The second he got off the bench, he was like 'I want him' and he did a heck of a job."
Antawn Jamison had 18 points for the Wizards, who have won nine of their last 10 games against the Hawks.
The score was tied at 76-all after three quarters, but Hayes' 3-pointer from the corner gave the Wizards an 87-80 lead with 8:05 left.
Johnson's dunk off a backcourt steal and assist from Smith tied it at 66-66 midway through the third quarter. Butler scored eight of the Wizards' last 10 points of the period, all on free throws.
The Wizards shot 51 percent en route to a 55-49 halftime lead against the Hawks, who entered the game ranked fourth in the league for opposing teams' field-goal percentage at .432.
Jamison had nine points and Butler added eight as Washington took a 30-22 lead after one quarter.
Washington has won five consecutive games against the Hawks at Verizon Center. Atlanta's last win here came on Dec. 30, 2003.
Jamison's 12 blocked shots this season already match his total of last season. .... Zaza Pachulia had eight rebounds in the first quarter. He finished with a season-high 14. ... Speedy Claxton started for Atlanta after missing one game with a sore left knee.