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Wizards end Mavericks' 12-game winning streak

Dec 5, 2006 - 2:32 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards made it impossible to tell which team had the 12-game winning streak.

Arenas had 38 points and eight assists and the hot-shooting Wizards rolled to a 106-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, who received a taste of their own medicine and saw their month-long victory tour come to an end.

"Hopefully we can start a new one," Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "Obviously we need to play a lot better, especially on the road."

"It feels great, actually," Arenas said. "It shows what we are capable of doing if we come out and play hard. But we have to get a streak of our own to catch up. We have to make up for lost time."

Former Maverick Antawn Jamison had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who shot 49.5 percent (45-of-91) from the field and ended a six-game slide in the series dating to November 5, 2003.

The Mavericks had not lost since November 8, with one of their wins along the way a 107-80 demolition of the Wizards in Dallas on November 21. They had won by an average of 11.4 points during their run and had not trailed in their last four games.

But the Wizards turned the tables on the Mavericks, opening a 31-23 lead after one period as Jamison scored 10 points and Arenas added nine.

"We looked at the tape when we played in Dallas a couple of weeks ago and it was a ballgame midway through the third quarter," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "But then they got it going and they had a big run because we did not stay organized.

"That is important for us - to stay organized in our offensive possessions, not just random basketball, where one guy has the ball and four other guys don't understand what he is trying to do and what he is going to."

Washington broke open the game in the second quarter, when Arenas scored 10 points to push the advantage to 59-41 at halftime. The All-Star guard has been struggling on the road but came in averaging 33.1 points on 48 percent shooting at the Verizon Center.

"We need to do it on the road," Arenas said. "When we're here, we feel like we can beat anybody."

The Wizards also got a boost from guard DeShawn Stevenson. He scored eight points in the first half, when Washington shot a blistering 64 percent (27-of-42).

"They were aggressive offensively," Nowitzki said. "It seemed like we were never really to play early on. They got whatever they wanted - layups, wide-open jump shots."

The Mavericks had been using quick starts triggered by forward Josh Howard to jump on their opponents. But Howard - defended by Caron Butler - made just 1-of-5 shots before intermission.

Meanwhile, Dallas guards Jason Terry and Devin Harris combined for one point on 0-of-7 shooting and had no answers for Arenas.

Any chance Dallas had of quickly getting back into the game ended when it missed its first nine shots of the third quarter. A 3-pointer by Jarvis Hayes gave Washington its largest lead at 76-45 midway through the period.

The Mavericks made a final push, closing to 100-92 with 2 1/2 minutes to go on consecutive 3-pointers by Nowitzki and Terry, but Arenas responded with a step-back jumper.

Dallas got no closer than seven points thereafter and had their winning streak stopped two shy of the franchise record set in 2002.

"We did a great job as far as putting them on the ropes early," Jamison said. "We knew they were going to make a run towards the end of the game."

"We had to play from behind tonight and we just waited too long to respond," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "There were some things we were trying to get accomplished, but we just couldn't get them accomplished. It was a good learning experience."

Butler had 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, Stevenson scored 12 points and Etan Thomas 10 for the Wizards, who held a 53-39 advantage in rebounds and improved to 7-2 at home. Thomas had 11 rebounds and Brendan Haywood 10.

Nowitzki scored 27 points and Harris, Jerry Stackhouse and Devean George added 14 apiece for the Mavericks, who shot under 40 percent (31-of-79) and fell to 5-2 on the road.

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