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Jamison, Arenas lead Wizards to big win over Magic

Jan 20, 2007 - 4:06 AM ORLANDO, Florida (Ticker) -- Antawn Jamison, Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards delivered a statement to the Orlando Magic.

Jamison collected 31 points and 16 rebounds and Arenas scored 30 points as the Wizards retained possession of first place in the Southeast Division with a 114-93 triumph over the Magic.

Caron Butler added 21 points for Washington, which entered the contest with a half-game lead over Orlando.

"We knew this was going to be a playoff atmosphere," Arenas said. "We wanted to come out and show we have been in the playoffs the last two years and we can be the dominant team out here."

The Magic absorbed their season high-tying fourth straight defeat, matching their skid of December 22-29. In between the losing streaks, they won five consecutive games.

The contest was tied, 45-45, at halftime before Washington scored 38 points in the third quarter to take an eight-point cushion into the final 12 minutes. Jamison and Arenas scored 10 points apiece in the period.

"We have three players that score 20 points on this team," Arenas said. "Eventually, we are all going to get our numbers. You just have to pick and choose."

"Our big three do know how to get out of each other's way," Jamison said. "That's never been a problem from day one. We all respect each other. We all know that on any given night, one guy can give you 30 or control the game."

The Wizards put away the contest early in the fourth quarter, pushing their advantage to 16 points in the first 4 1/2 minutes and to as many as 23 down the stretch.

"I'm embarrassed that we performed the way we did in the second half," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "We gave up 69 pionts in a half of basketball, 38 in the third quarter."

The Wizards converted 19 Magic turnovers into 31 points. Orlando scored just 10 points off eight Washington giveaways.

"We forced them into some turnovers and there were some plays that they normally would have made," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "That is a good team."

Washington did not attempt a free throw in the first half but shot 25 in the second half, making 21.

"It was mentioned (at halftime) and guys were just trying to be a little more aggressive driving into the paint," Butler said. "I took it upon myself to be a little more aggressive."

Grant Hill scored 24 points - 19 in the first half - and Dwight Howard contributed 20 and 13 rebounds for the Magic, who had won four straight home games.

"I'm shellshocked and am looking to read in the paper tomorrow to see what happened," said Hill, who dislocated his pinkie in the third period. "It seemed like we were in the game in the third period, and then you blinked your eye and we were down 15 or 20 points."

"It is an embarrassment when you come in a game in your hometown and you let somebody else come in and blow you out," Howard said. "That's always embarrassing. Especially losing to a team that we know we can beat."

The teams had split their first two matchups this season, with each winning at home.

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