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Arenas, Butler lead Wizards over Bobcats

Dec 28, 2006 - 4:28 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Gilbert Arenas continues to give new meaning to the word consistency.

Arenas scored 39 points, Caron Butler added 25 and Antawn Jamison 17 with 11 rebounds to lead the Washington Wizards to their seventh win in eight games, a 114-107 triumph over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Entering as the league's third-highest scoring team (107.5), the Wizards topped the century mark for the 12th consecutive game. They recorded their fifth straight victory over Charlotte and raised their all-time mark against the Bobcats to 9-1.

"Our guys gutted it out," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "It was a tough win for us. We had guys in foul trouble and they hit the boards on us. We overcame that and a great game from Gerald Wallace. Overall, we came together as a group and got it done."

"We're a scoring team," Arenas said. "There are a lot of scoring teams out there. We try to score so much and so fast that everyone is going to have an opportunity to score. That's why we have to get key stops at the end to be successful. We're just an offensive team."

Arenas made 10-of-19 shots and 14-of-16 from the free-throw line in his 11th 30-point game this month. Entering as the league's No. 3 scorer, he is averaging 35.0 points in December.

"This is how I wanted to start my season off and why I was so frustrated at the beginning of the season," Arenas said. "I had to relax and let the game come to me."

"He was terrific in all aspects of the game," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "Here is is guy who steps up and says, 'I will not let my team lose. Get on my back.' He was great hustling from one end of the court to save baskets."

After Wallace made a basket and a dunk to give the Bobcats a 97-93 lead with 4:52 left, Arenas nailed a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around two free throws by Jamison as Washington went back in front, 101-97.

Wallace hit a basket for the Bobcats with 2:45 remaining before Jamison scored on a layup for a 103-99 edge. After Wallace sank two free throws with 1:12 to go, the Wizards pulled away with an 8-2 run - highlighted by four points by Arenas - for a 111-103 lead with 21 seconds to go.

"Gilbert came down and made some tough shots (in the fourth) and (Butler) made some great stops on their runs," Jamison said. "We struggled early in the season with stopping the runs, but tonight we stayed calm and poised and found a way to get it done and get the win."

Wallace scored a season-high 40 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Raymond Felton added 22 points and rookie Adam Morrison 17 off the bench for the Bobcats.

"We're killing ourselves," Wallace said. "We're our own worst enemy. I think we're as good as any team in the league because we play every team hard. The only thing that separates us from other teams is their execution ... at the end of the game."

"The ballgame comes down to you fighting back, getting control of the game, and you just can't get a shot," Bickerstaff said. "That's what's so disappointing after your commitment and your effort. I understand the intentions are good, but we just have to stop making mistakes."

The Wizards opened at a blistering pace, hitting 15 of their 18 shots in the first quarter for a 39-28 lead. Butler and Arenas scored 11 points apiece and Jamison added nine in the period.

Wallace scored 18 points in the third quarter, including 12 in a row for Charlotte, which outscored Washington, 27-16, in the period to take an 83-82 lead.

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