Arenas, Jamison Lead Wizards Past Cavaliers
Washington 101, Cleveland 89
WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (Ticker) -- Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison provided all the fourth-quarter highlights. Arenas scored 32 points and Jamison added 27 as the Washington Wizards executed in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 101-89 victory over the Cavaliers.
With Arenas and Jamison leading the way, the Wizards won their sixth straight home game.
"Once he stepped his game up, everybody else stepped up," said Arenas of Jamison, who recently became the 17th active player in the league with at least 10,000 career points and 4,000 career rebounds. "He was in a funk early in December, but from January on, he's been playing like an All-Star. ... It's hard to pass the ball around when you've got one of your top scorers timid with his shot. But right now he's letting it fly and it's going in."
"Instead of helping my team I was hurting the team," Jamison said of his slump earlier in the season. "I just stayed patient, stayed positive and things turned around. I'm playing well and the team's playing well also."
Meanwhile, it was a struggle for Cavs All-Star LeBron James, who made just 6-of-23 shots and scored 18 points. The phenom was limited to just two points in the fourth quarter.
"We did not execute defensively," James said of allowing the Wizards to shoot 49 percent (37-of-75). "That was the main reason; we broke down a lot defensively and they did a great job of executing. (Arenas) helped his team get a win and he is the type of player that can do that."
The Cavaliers were within 74-73 less than a minute into the fourth quarter before the Wizards began to take control.
Arenas' three-point play with 9:55 remaining provided a 79-73 lead.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas was ejected with 8:41 remaining after drawing two technical fouls 23 seconds apart for arguing with and charging over Wizards center Brendan Haywood.
"He tried to go through me with the elbow and I was there to take the charge and the referee gave me a favorable call," said Haywood, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. "I might have got in his head a little bit, but I don't know what he was thinking about going after the referee. That seemed a little foolish, but at the end of the day I was just out there competing. I wasn't really trying to get in his head."
"The calls are always going to go one way or the other," Ilgauskas said. "My emotions got the better of me, but this is a game, everybody gets excited and sometimes that's going to happen. ... I wish I could've stayed in, but things like that happen. It's not the first time I've gotten kicked out and probably not the last."
Jamison then scored nine consecutive points for the Wizards on back-to-back 3-pointers and three foul shots, pushing the advantage to 89-80 with 6:16 left.
"It was one of those games where it was a playoff-type intensity and a physical approach was needed," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.
Arenas added 10 assists, eight rebounds and a career-high three blocks.
"We're playing great basketball," Arenas said. "We've been confident the whole season, but now we've got that swagger we had the first five games of the season."
Jamison made 9-of-14 shots - including three 3-pointers for the Wizards, who made 6-of-13 attempts from the arc. Caron Butler chipped in 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who won their fourth straight game.
James collected nine rebounds and eight assists for the Cavaliers, who had six players in double figures. Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden scored 14 points apiece.
But, the night belonged to Arenas, who learned during his drive to the MCI Center that he had been added to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team.
"You're never promised another one," Arenas said. "So enjoy it and play every game like it's your last."
"He's been a phenomenal player," Jamison added. "It's a blessing to have him on our team. He not only is one of the best players in this league but he makes this team better. If you've got a guy like that, he has to get recognized as being an All-Star and one of the best in the league."