Arenas, Wizards Work Some Scoring Magic
Washington 137, Seattle 96
WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 (Ticker) -- Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards had little trouble bouncing back from their first loss of the season.
Arenas scored 32 points and Caron Butler added 24 off the bench as the Wizards coasted to a 137-96 rout of the defenseless Seattle Supersonics.
"It's one game against a team that is a little bit down, on the road from the West," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "We just have to take everything into perspective. It's just one of those games in the NBA where things are going terrific for you."
The Wizards scored their most points since a 142-100 victory over Boston on April 17, 1994. They also set a record for points in the MCI Center, eclipsing the mark of 126 against Milwaukee on February 22, 2000.
"Is it a measure of who we really are? Not necessarily," Jordan said. "Certainly it was a total team effort. They made up their minds that they were going to go out there and talk, set a defensive tone and play together."
Antawn Jamison collected 19 points and 11 rebounds and newcomer Chucky Atkins chipped in eight assists for Washington, which shot 58.5 percent (48-of-82) from the field and had seven players in double figures.
The Wizards carried a 29-25 lead after one period before exploding for 42 points in the second quarter. Arenas scored 11 points in the period as Washington took a 71-49 lead into halftime.
"Our offense is finally coming along," Arenas said. "We know defense comes first, offense comes second. Our offense came up tonight, but it started with defense."
Jordan was impressed by his squad's defensive effort, particularly against Seattle's dynamic duo of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis.
"Gilbert Arenas was right there helping and Jared Jeffries was terrific against Rashard Lewis early," Jordan said. "It was contagious. Our bench, with Caron Butler coming in, was solid, exciting and aggressive with a lot of confidence."
Allen and Lewis scored 17 points apiece for the Sonics, who have lost by an average of 31 points during their three-game skid.
Allen expressed his disappointment but claimed he was not angered by the Wizards running up the score in the second half.
"I remember doing this to some teams and I felt bad for them, but it wasn't like I showed it," Allen said. "Just keep pouring it on them as much as you can, because in this league nobody cares about the other team if they're doing bad. They just look over their shoulders and say, 'I'm glad it's not me.'"
Sonics coach Bob Weiss said his team's effort was unacceptable.
"It was an embarrassement," Weiss said. "We have to become accountable, we've got to become more aggressive, we've got to take it personal. We're letting teams manhandle us, we've got to get more physical. We have to get after people, we've got to have more pride."
Seattle shot just 39.7 percent (31-of-78) from the field and made just 7-of-23 of its 3-pointers.
"We're just in a funk," Weiss said. "We're out there stumbling around, we're not competing. It was just completely unacceptable."
Wizards rookie forward Andray Blatche made his NBA debut midway through the fourth quarter.
A second-round selection out of high school, Blatche was shot in the chest during an attempted carjacking in late September. The 6-11 rookie collected five points and two assists in 7 1/2 minutes.
"That is what I've been waiting for, my first moment on the court," Blatche said. "As soon as they called my number, I was ready to go."