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Arenas' 40-point outburst leads Wizards past Pacers

Nov 9, 2006 - 2:48 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Gilbert Arenas made sure he did not have to worry about playing in the fourth quarter.

Arenas scored 24 of his 40 points before intermission to lead four players in double figures as the Washington Wizards coasted to a 117-91 victory over the shorthanded Indiana Pacers.

A two-time All-Star, Arenas rebounded well from his 6-of-20 performance in Monday's setback at Orlando. The 6-4 guard wasted no time Wednesday, making 14-of-20 shots, including 4-of-6 from 3-point range. He also had three steals.

"He (Arenas) is a great player and a great scorer also. It's fun to play with a guy like that who draws double-teams," Wizards swingman Caron Butler said. "When he gets going like that, we get open. I've played with Kobe (Bryant) and Dwyane (Wade), and this guy here is in that class."

After having its 12-point lead cut to 44-43 on Al Harrington's layup with 3:51 remaining in the second quarter, Washington pulled away for good behind an impressive 18-4 surge to end the period featuring nine points by Arenas.

"It's important because now we are back in the mix," Arenas said. "In this league, you have to get off to a good start. We have a good chance to do so."

Arenas scored 13 points in the third quarter, when the Wizards pushed their advantage to a whopping 93-58.

"Last year it was a hard thing for this team to come out in the third quarter," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "At halftime I expressed my displeasure, even though we were up by 15 points, because I saw things that didn't flow right. I saw some disjointed possessions, body language and facial expressions, and I didn't want that to happen in the third quarter."

Arenas has the only two 40-point games in the NBA this season.

"In the first game in Cleveland (a seven-point effort), I was anxious about getting the season started, but now I've calmed down and I've got a rhythm going," Arenas said.

Antawn Jamison scored 19 points and Butler added 12 for Washington, which shot 51 percent (44-of-85) and forced 22 turnovers.

"We did a great job," Jamison said. "What we like to do is cause a lot of turnovers."

Harrington scored 23 points and Marquis Daniels chipped in 11 for the Pacers, who shot 38 percent (32-of-83) and surrendered 24 fast-break points.

"There aren't many positives to say about this game. We've got to be a no-excuses team," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "Washington thumped us. They competed harder and better, and we got what we deserved."

Indiana center Jermaine O'Neal, who averages a team-leading 19.5 points, sat out with a strained left ankle suffered in Tuesday's win over Philadelphia.

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