Wizards Top Sixers, Cap Perfect Homestand
Washington 107, Philadelphia 97
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (Ticker) -- Allen Iverson won the battle of All-Star guards against Gilbert Arenas. But Iverson's team was no match for the Washington Wizards.
Arenas scored 27 points and Caron Butler added 21 as the Wizards completed a 5-0 homestand with a 107-97 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
"We're rolling right now and we're feeling good about what we're doing," Arenas said of the Wizards' 13th win in their last 17 games.
Butler and Antawn Jamison combined for 14 points in the third quarter for Washington, which has its longest winning streak since reeling off seven straight victories in January 2005.
"The chemistry has gotten better and guys are really playing well off one another," Butler said. "If we continue to play at this rate, we'll be a team to watch out for in the playoffs."
Iverson got some help from Chris Webber, who had 24 points and 13 rebounds. But the rest of his teammates did not contribute much.
"You just have to want to do it," Iverson said. "You have to approach both halves the same way and we are not doing it. I don't know how, but I know that it has to be done. I know if we get frustrated and start turning on each other that it is only going to get worse. Like always, you just have to find out what character you have on the team."
The loss was the third in a row and fifth in six games for the 76ers.
Antonio Daniels provided a boost in the second quarter for Washington, scoring 12 points off the bench as the Wizards built a 52-46 halftime lead.
"I'm not really concerned with anything else anymore, whether I'm starting or not starting," said Daniels, who has scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games. "I'm concerned with winning basketball games. That's all that matters to me."
Butler started the second half with a jumper, an alley-oop pass to Jared Jeffries for a dunk and a 3-pointer as Washington increased its advantage to 59-48 with 10:19 left in the third quarter.
Iverson made his only basket of the quarter with 8:33 remaining, but Arenas converted four free throws and Jamison hit a driving bank shot to make it 67-52 with 6:51 remaining in the period.
Jeffries turned in the highlight-reel play of the game when he blocked a layup attempt by Iverson. That set up a break for the Wizards and Jamison connected on a 3-pointer to give Washington a 72-56 advantage with 5:09 left in the quarter.
A pair of free throws by Brendan Haywood gave Washington its biggest lead at 80-59 with 2:28 remaining in the quarter.
"We lost a little handle on the game," Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. "They got out on the break and we missed a lot of easy shots that allowed them to get out on the break. That's how they ended up with the lead and built it up to 21. A couple of backdoor plays. Kind of the same story it's been for awhile."
An 11-3 run in the fourth quarter helped the Sixers pull within 89-77 with 6:46 left. But the Wizards got their lead back up to 98-81 after Arenas made four free throws - the last two coming with 3:22 remaining.
Arenas, who was recently named to replace injured Indiana Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal on the Eastern Conference roster for the All-Star Game, was 15-of-15 from the free-throw line.
Philadelphia pulled no closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Kyle Korver scored 12 off the bench for the Sixers, but made just 4-of-11 shots.
Webber scored 10 of his points in the first quarter when the Sixers took a 24-22 lead.
This game was almost a repeat of the first meeting of the season, which was won here by the Wizards, 104-76, on January 16.
"This third quarter was very similar to the third quarter when we played them on Martin Luther King Day," Daniels said.