76ers
Wizards
98 - 105 Final
  for this game

Arenas scores 31, leads Wizards over 76ers 105-98

Dec 23, 2009 - 4:19 AM By HOWARD FENDRICH AP Sports Writer

WASHINGTON(AP) -- Agent Zero appears to be rounding into form.

He thinks so. So do his teammates. And his former coach, too.

Brilliant at the start and finish, though basically silent in between, Gilbert Arenas scored 31 points Tuesday night - two games after putting in 45 - to lead the Washington Wizards past the Philadelphia 76ers 105-98.

"I feel a lot better than I did at the beginning" of the season, said Arenas, who missed all but two games in 2008-09 after three knee operations in 1 1/2 years. "The rhythm, the dribbling in the lane, just moving without the ball: It's all coming back."

He opened the game with a personal 7-0 run: 3-pointer, 20-foot fadeaway, 19-foot jumper. He finished the opening quarter with 15 points. Then, after adding only two points in each of the next two periods, the three-time All-Star guard came back out of his shell in the fourth quarter, scoring 12.

Arenas finished with eight rebounds and two assists. The second, though, set up a dunk by Caron Butler that capped a 16-6 run, taking the Wizards from a four-point deficit to a 96-90 lead with about 4 minutes remaining.

Arenas and Butler scored all 16 of Washington's points in that span.

"He was penetrating and making things happen," Butler said. "He was getting to the paint, doing a lot of things. Doing what he (does) best: drawing defenders and making plays and finishing the game. That's exactly what we needed."

Over the past four games, Arenas is averaging 32.8 points. The first three of those games - including a 45-point, 13-assist outing against his former team, Golden State - came during a road trip on the other side of the country.

"All it takes is a couple games to get somebody's spirit going," Arenas said. "I found it on the West, and I'm trying to keep it going."

Philadelphia coach Eddie Jordan, fired by the Wizards after their 1-10 start last season, acknowledged his former star player made the difference Tuesday. But Jordan also made sure to point to his current team's defensive deficiencies.

"He took it over," Jordan said. "Gilbert was very good driving in the paint. We gave him too many layups."

Explained Jordan: "We had a horrible defensive fourth quarter. Horrible. Horrible."

This wasn't exactly a showdown between league powers; Philadelphia is 7-21, and Washington is 9-17. The only Eastern Conference team with fewer victories is New Jersey, which is an NBA-worst 2-26.

Still, the Wizards had to be pleased with the way they pulled out this victory after dropping their previous three home games by a total of five points. Plus, Washington lost by 26 in its last outing, at Phoenix on Saturday, a performance coach Flip Saunders called "extremely disappointing and pretty much unacceptable."

Speaking before Tuesday's game, Saunders wondered aloud about the "concentration level from the guys."

Things didn't look good for his club when Thaddeus Young's three-point play gave the 76ers their first lead, 51-49, less than 2 minutes into the second half.

A few minutes later, the 76ers were ahead 58-52, and Saunders made wholesale substitutions, yanking all five starters from the court. As captain Antawn Jamison walked to the sideline, he kicked the advertising sign along the nearby baseline.

Asked after the game about the lineup changes, Jamison said: "I have no comment on that."

Saunders' take?

"We had guys that were mad," the coach said. "I told them, 'You could be mad, but you're not half as mad as I am with the effort that we gave."

Elton Brand, who led the 76ers with 18 points and 12 rebounds, sounded a similar note about his team.

"If we're going to not box out, not rebound, not play 'D,' then you shouldn't be out there," Brand said. "We need games right now. We need to be hungry."

NOTES: Reserve guard Earl Boykins scored 18 for Washington, which had lost seven of eight. ... Butler scored 14 points. Jamison had only seven points - he shot 1 for 6 - and five rebounds. ... Philadelphia's Allen Iverson (knee, shoulder) missed a third consecutive game.






  • 128
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    76ers 98, Wizards 105  FinalDec 23 2:41 AM
  • 123
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    76ers 97, Wizards 101  4th - 1:03Dec 22 9:40 PM


  • NBA
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 21 23 35 19 98
    WASHINGTON 27 20 25 33 105 FINAL

    HIGH SCORERS: PHI - ELTON BRAND 18, WILLIE GREEN 16, LOUIS
    WILLIAMS 12
    WAS - GILBERT ARENAS 31, EARL BOYKINS 18,
    CARON BUTLER 14

    HIGH REBOUND: PHI - ELTON BRAND 12, ANDRE IGUODALA 7, SAMUEL
    DALEMBERT 6
    WAS - GILBERT

    Dec 22 9:39 PM
  • 118
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 75 roots (Close Finish)

    76ers 97, Wizards 98  4th - 1:28Dec 22 9:23 PM
  • 43
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 16 roots (Close Finish)

    76ers 90, Wizards 96  4th - 4:02Dec 22 9:15 PM
  • 59
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 14 roots (Close Finish)

    76ers 90, Wizards 94  4th - 4:49Dec 22 9:13 PM
  • 73
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 41 roots (Close Finish)

    76ers 88, Wizards 88  4th - 6:11Dec 22 9:07 PM
  • 32
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 13 roots (Close Finish)

    76ers 81, Wizards 78  4th - 10:25Dec 22 8:59 PM


  • NBA
    PHILADELPHIA 79
    WASHINGTON 72 END, 3RD QTR

    Dec 22 8:54 PM
  • 19
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 14 roots

    76ers 50, Wizards 49  3rd - 10:14Dec 22 8:23 PM


  • NBA
    PHILADELPHIA 44
    WASHINGTON 47 HALFTIME

    Dec 22 8:06 PM


  • NBA
    PHILADELPHIA 21
    WASHINGTON 27 END, 1ST QTR

    Dec 22 7:37 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Crowe Added 5 roots

    76ers vs. WizardsDec 22 6:59 PM