WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (Ticker) -- Gilbert Arenas
certainly knows how to
bounce back from a subpar performance.
Arenas scored 28 points and Antawn Jamison
added 20 and 15
rebounds as the Washington Wizards posted a 96-89 victory over
the road-weary Portland Trail Blazers.
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The NBA's fourth-leading scorer at 26.5 points per game, Arenas
was held to a season-low 11 points in Saturday's setback to
Charlotte. However, he responded by making 8-of-19 shots,
including 4-of-7 from the arc, to lead the Wizards to just their
second win in eight games.
Arenas has scored less than 20 points five times this season,
but has averaged 33.6 in each of the ensuing games.
"Gilbert is the only point guard in the league who's got
basically everything," said Trail Blazers forward Darius Miles
who scored 21 points. "He's got the height, he's got the
quickness, he's got the jump shot, he's got hops, he can
dribble. He can defend when he wants to. You don't see too
many point guards like that."
Playing with a sore right knee, Arenas scored 22 points through
the first three quarters but was kept relatively under control
in the fourth period -- until the final minute.
With the Wizards clinging to a 91-89 lead, Arenas drained a
tough jumper over Sebastian Telfair
with 35 seconds left.
"This game was similar to the ones that we have played all
month," said Wizards coach Eddie Jordan
, whose team forced 21
turnovers and allowed just 13 points in the fourth quarter. "We
had our ups and downs, ebbs and flows, and Gilbert made a big
shot at the end."
"We made easy plays tonight," Arenas said. "We didn't force
anything towards the end. Shots that we usually take in the
first and second quarter, we didn't take at the end of the game.
We made easy plays and converted."
stole the ball from Zach Randolph
on the other
end and got it to Jarvis Hayes
, who converted the layup while
being fouled by Miles with 18 seconds remaining. Hayes
made the free throw to push the lead to 96-89 and all but seal
"We locked down the last five minutes of the fourth quarter. It
worked," Arenas said. "We got key stops at the end of the game.
That's the one thing we know we can control. If our shots aren't
falling, we can still play D. We did that tonight and it paid
off with a win."
Portland's Joel Przybilla
scored 11 of his season-high 17 points
in the first half, but Washington closed the second period with
an 8-0 run to take a 53-51 lead. Miles added 10 in the third
quarter to give the Blazers a 76-75 edge.
Przybilla, who scored Portland's last six points, also had a
season-best 15 rebounds and six blocks for the Blazers, who
finished a 2-5 road trip.
"I'm just going out there playing and getting a better feel for
the players and the system," Przybilla said. "It was a good
night, but we had 21 turnovers. That's like giving them a 10- or
15-point lead at the beginning of the game."
Hayes and Brendan Haywood
scored 13 points apiece for the
Wizards (7-7), who finished November with a .500 record.
"We started off hot and then we cooled down, but we stayed
alive," Arenas said. "We're .500 and it's great for us now.
Let's work on making that our worst month of the season."