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Jamison, Arenas carry Wizards past Sixers

Apr 13, 2008 - 3:22 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - Antawn Jamison dazzled with 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Washington Wizards to a 109-93 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

Gilbert Arenas scored 20 points off the bench and DeShawn Stevenson added 19 for the Wizards (42-38), who moved within 1 1/2 games of idle Cleveland (43-36) for fourth place and home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference.

The win also helped the Wizards earn a split, 2-2, in the season series and assured them of at least a sixth-place finish in the conference, avoiding powerhouses Boston and Detroit in the first round.

Jamison scored six points during an 8-0 that gave the Wizards a 99-91 lead with 5:10 left in the fourth quarter. He capped the spurt with a back-door cut for a layup from Arenas.

"For (Arenas) to come out and play the way he did says volumes about what he means to this team and what he brings to this team," Jamison said. "I'm glad we are able to get him back at this point in the season, before the playoffs, because of the difference he can make. He makes us go."

"I know what (Arenas) has and what he can do," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "In the first half, they played him seven minutes. I think they were going to hold his minutes (to 24). He played one more minute, 25 minutes, and what did he get? Twenty points."

Stevenson's 3-pointer extended Washington's lead to 104-92 with 3:51 left to put the game away.

"When I have Gilbert and (Antonio Daniels) out there passing me the ball at the right times, I just have to catch and shoot," Stevenson said.

"I have great point guards around me. At the end of the game, Gilbert took over." Andre Iguodala poured in 22 points and Andre Miller scored 16 for the Sixers, who built an 84-78 advantage after three quarters but were held to just nine points in the fourth.

Arenas scored seven straight points to open the fourth quarter as Washington grabbed an 85-84 lead with 10:23 remaining.

"(Arenas) made special plays," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "He made daggers. He could break down the defense with that special move and the reverse layup. That sort of thing complemented what our defense was doing.

"In the fourth quarter, we really started getting to their shooters on the perimeter, started to take care of people in the paint and protecting the rim against layups. The playmaking in the fourth just complemented our defense, and that is why you get a 31-9 run."

The loss cost the 76ers (40-40) a chance to move up in the East standings.

"It doesn't concern me at all," 76ers guard Willie Green said. "What matters is how we play once we get to the playoffs. The downside of this is we had a great opportunity to give ourselves a better seeding position, but we're still learning from it.

"We're still a young team learning and we've just got to take the good and the bad. It was a tough loss, though."

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