Arenas, Butler Lift Wizards Past Warriors
Washington 129, Golden State 124
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (Ticker) -- The combination of Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler proved to be more than the Golden State Warriors could handle.
Arenas scored 45 points and Butler contributed a season-high 34, 15 rebounds and three steals as the Washington Wizards posted their fifth victory in six games with a 129-124 triumph over the Warriors.
"We were clicking tonight," said Butler, who scored 20 points in the first half. "The team was just firing in rhythm. When the shots are falling, we feel that we can play against anybody in the league. We did a good job when we needed stops and rebounds."
"Caron came out with great energy and he was unstoppable tonight," said Warriors guard Baron Davis, who had 28 points, 13 assists and three steals. "We couldn't stop him down low. We didn't have an answer for him."
Arenas eclipsed the 40-point mark for the sixth time this season. He also set a franchise record by making 23 free throws, surpassing the previous mark set when Moses Malone made 21 on Dec. 29, 1986.
"We dug down deep," said Arenas, who had seven assists. "We got stops early in the fourth quarter and from there they were just fighting to get back."
The Wizards opened the fourth quarter with a 14-6 run, capped by Michael Ruffin's layup, to build a 105-94 lead with 7:10 left. The Warriors rallied over the next five minutes and drew within 113-108 on Mike Dunleavy Jr.'s 3-pointer with just over two minutes remaining.
Arenas answered with a pair of free throws before Davis hit a shot from the arc to make it 115-111 with 1:26 on the clock. Washington was able to create some breathing room by getting to the line as Antawn Jamison, Antonio Daniels and Arenas combined to make 6-of-6 free throws to push the edge to 121-113 with 19 seconds to play.
Golden State's Derek Fisher drained a 3-pointer with one second left, making it 127-124 but Arenas sealed the victory with two more from the line.
"One thing the Warriors can do is score," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "We knew that. And as much as we wanted to emphasize defense, we knew we had to keep the pace offensively. With that being said, I thought we ran our offense."
The contest featured 11 lead changes and 13 ties.
"Neither team played defense," said Golden State guard Jason Richardson, who scored 31 points on 13-of-20 shooting. "A lot of guys scored points and there was a lot of foul shooting and a lot of fouling. If we could have made a couple of stops, we would have won the game."
Jamison scored 18 points and Daniels added 11 off the bench for Washington, which shot 50 percent (39-of-78) but made just 3-of-15 3-pointers.
Mickael Pietrus added 18 for the Warriors, who held a commanding 60-40 advantage in points in the paint.