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Arenas' 38 points lead Wizards past Timberwolves

Feb 21, 2007 - 5:13 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Gilbert Arenas helped the Washington Wizards start the second half of the season on a positive note.

Arenas collected 38 points and seven rebounds and DeShawn Stevenson scored a season-high 23 for the Wizards in a 112-100 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Arenas, who netted eight points during Sunday's All-Star Game, connected on 12-of-24 shots and made 13-of-15 free throws en route to his first 30-point performance in five games.

"(Arenas) started a little bit rusty," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "But he got going when we needed him."

"You kind of hope you can contain or keep him into a jump-shooting game, but he attacked the basket," Minnesota interim coach Randy Wittman said.

Stevenson produced just his second 20-point outburst of the season.

"I was knocking down shots early," said Stevenson, who shot 9-of-11. "I was feeling the groove and I was playing well, so everything worked out."

The Timberwolves trailed by as many as 16 points in the third quarter before cutting the lead to 72-68 behind an impressive 20-8 surge capped by Kevin Garnett's jumper with 2:42 left.

Arenas opened the final quarter with a shot from the arc, then hit a turnaround jumper as Washington grabbed an 88-74 advantage with 11:08 to play.

Minnesota used a late 8-0 burst to close the deficit to 98-92 with 3:49 left. But Stevenson scored on a reverse layup and drained an 18-footer to rebuild a double-digit edge and keep the Timberwolves at bay.

All-Star Caron Butler scored 15 points and Andray Blatche added seven and a season-tying 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who shot 50 percent (39-of-77) from the floor.

"I am running the floor, rebounding and making open shots," Blatche said. "I am a high-energy guy and I try and bring it that into the game while I am playing."

Washington wasted little time taking control in the opening quarter, outscoring Minnesota, 31-19.

"You can not pinpoint it on one thing," Minnesota guard Mike James said. "They just got off to a quick start. They were knocking down a lot of shots and we were not hitting our shots."

"We just got off to another slow start," Timberwolves swingman Ricky Davis said. "It is hard to beat a team that is that good and comes out and plays like that in the first quarter."

Garnett had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Davis scored 24 and James chipped in 20 for Minnesota, which has dropped five straight matchups away from home.

"We're just trying to figure it out as we go," Garnett said. "The hardest thing in the league is to win on the road. We've lost eight of our last 10 and been trying to figure it out each game. It's not like we're not giving a valiant effort."

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