WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 (Ticker) -- Gilbert Arenas
had multiple reasons to
celebrate Thursday night.
Arenas marked his 23rd birthday with 27 points as the Washington
Wizards rolled to a 107-96 victory over the road-weary Seattle
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A four-year NBA veteran enjoying his finest season, Arenas made
all six of his free throws and was 2-of-3 from 3-point range in
the first half, scoring 16 points as the Wizards raced to a
He was scoreless in the third while Seattle chipped away at the
Washington's lead, but Arenas scored 11 points in the final 5:54
of the fourth to help hold off the Sonics.
Asked if he could think of a better birthday present, Arenas
said: "A new Ferrari, but we had fun tonight."
The Wizards (18-13) are off to their best start since the
1984-85 season. Through 31 games last season, they were 9-22.
The club is 12-1 when it holds opponents to less than 100
"We were really determined to execute our defensive game plan
and to not get caught up in the Seattle Sonics' way of playing,"
Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "We kept our composure when
they made tough shots and we really executed our offense. But
it was just determination and a killer instinct tonight."
After Ray Allen's
layup pulled the Sonics within 88-82, Arenas
kicked off a 15-6 run with a three-point play. He scored nine
points during the surge and assisted on a 3-pointer by
"We know that if we play our game and execute then we are going
to have a lot of success," said Arenas, who has led the Wizards
in scoring a team-high 13 times. "It's not always easy to do,
but if we execute and play our best game, we know that we're
scored 21 points, pulled down eight rebounds and
had six assists and Jamison chipped in 19 points - 15 in the
Finishing a five-game road trip, Seattle lacked energy down the
stretch and got little production aside from Rashard Lewis
scored 35 points and grabbed 11 boards.
"You're going to have games like that," Lewis said. "You can't
shoot the ball perfect every night. We're a 3-point shooting
team but tonight we shot ourselves out of the game.
"We didn't have our legs. (The road trip) should have been 4-1.
I thought we gave the game away against Orlando last night, but
Washington is a good team. You've got to give them credit."
Allen finished with 17 points on 6-for-20 shooting with six
rebounds, four assists and a season-high four steals. He shot
only 1-for-8 from behind the arc, however, part of an 8-of-28
effort by the Sonics.
"I still thought we had good shots, we just didn't make them,"
Allen said. "We were tired because normally we make those shots.
But that's where we are. Those are the same shots that we all
have confidence in each other taking. Not being in position and
not being ready, that is where you for sure see fatigue set
The Sonics won the first three games of the swing before
dropping their last two.
"I thought we had to scrap throughout the game," Seattle coach
Nate McMillan said. "They came out aggressive and really put
pressure on us defensively. Offensively, we didn't knock down
some shots that we normally knock down. And it seemed like when
we did get back into the game in the second half, we were
making mental mistakes and turning the ball over."
Meanwhile, the Wizards' confidence keeps building.
"It's not over," Hughes said. "We need to keep knocking teams
off and knocking people down. We have a long way to go but
we're going to continue to play good basketball. We feel like
that every night. We're getting something special started."