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Arenas soars as Wizards end Cavaliers' winning streak

Nov 19, 2006 - 2:31 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Extra shooting paid off for Gilbert Arenas.

Arenas scored 27 of his 45 points in the second half as the Washington Wizards pulled away for a 111-99 victory over the Cavaliers, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.

After shooting just 18-of-62 in three consecutive losses, Arenas showed up early for some extra shooting prior to the game against the Wizards.

"I played like trash the last three games," Arenas said. "Shots couldn't fall and I wasn't getting calls. I wanted to come last night after we landed, but I decided to get here at 3 o'clock and get some shots up. I made about 200 threes, 40 from mid-range, and I felt good.

"So shots were falling tonight. Hopefully we can carry this on to next game."

Antawn Jamison scored 16 points and DeShawn Stevenson added 15 for the Wizards, who lost in six games to the Cavaliers in the first round of the playoffs last season and the season opener in 2006-07.

"We've been having tight games for the last year and a half (with Cleveland) and we got the best of them today," Arenas said. "We both played last night, and LeBron (James) had to do a lot last night, so we just tried to attack him on offense and defense."

Although Arenas averaged 34 points against Cleveland in the playoffs, James hit two game-winning shots in the classic series. On November 1, James had 26 points and 10 rebounds in a 97-94 victory, while Arenas was held to seven points on 2-of-12 shooting.

On Saturday, Arena scored 18 points as the Wizards took a 62-58 edge at the half. He lit up the Cavaliers for 17 in the third quarter, including consecutive 3-pointers to close out the period with a 93-74 lead.

"Most of the bigs play me for the drive anyway," Arenas said. "Everyone's playing me for the drive now. That's why I can pull up for the three anytime."

Arenas kept the pressure on in the fourth, scoring on a jumper, two more 3-pointers and a follow shot that upped the bulge to 105-81 with seven minutes left. He departed one minute later.

"We got our behinds kicked. Too much Washington Wizards, too much Gilbert," Cleveland coach Mike Brown said. "We got our behind kicked tonight. We scored 99 points and shot 47 percent from the floor. You'd think you'd have a chance to win, but we didn't get it done defensively."

Arenas, who scored a career-high 47 points vs. Miami on December 30, finished 14-of-22 from the floor, including 7-of-11 from the arc. He made 10-of-12 free throws and added six assists and five rebounds.

James scored 20 points on 8-of-20 shooting with five rebounds and four assists.

"We all know we have to make it tough on him so our main focus tonight was to make it tough on LeBron," Jamison said. "We don't care if the other guys get open jump shots, we've just got to make sure he doesn't get into a comfort zone where he's scoring the ball, passing the ball and coming on the break and getting easy shots."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 16 points for Cleveland, which played without guard Larry Hughes, who missed his second straight game with a right ankle injury.

"Obviously, Larry is quick and he's going against Gilbert in practice for the past few years," Brown said. "He knows his tendencies probably better than anybody else on our team, and for us, he's our best matchup that we have to guard."

Washington forward Jarvis Hayes left the game late in the fourth quarter with an apparent head injury. Hayes fell to the court following a collision as he attempted to defend a fast break. He was carried off in a stretcher and taken to a hospital for evaluation.

"It lets you realize how blessed you are as a person because in this life and in this league, you take nothing for granted," Washington guard Antonio Daniels said. "One play and your whole life can be altered. We're just praying for him; praying that he'll be OK and he'll be back with us in practice on Monday and that he's all right."

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