Arenas, Wizards Beat Bobcats Back-to-Back
Washington 107, Charlotte 99
WASHINGTON, March 15 (Ticker) -- It appears that the Washington Wizards are going to go as far as Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler can take them.
One night after combining for 94 points, the trio came through for 72 as the Wizards completed a home-and-home sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats with a 107-99 victory.
"We just took care of business," Jamison said.
Washington held an 80-72 lead after three periods but was not sharp as Charlotte refused to fold. The Wizards committed 23 turnovers that led to 26 points for the Bobcats.
"We were playing against a Charlotte team that has nothing to lose," Butler said. "They are doing everything and sometimes those are the hardest teams to beat. We were very fortunate that we played good basketball to close the game out. You have to give credit to coach (Bernie) Bickerstaff and their coaching staff for the way they are playing."
Charlotte pulled within 103-97 on a 3-pointer by rookie Alan Anderson with 1:49 to play. Butler answered with a pair of free throws and Jamison rebounded his own miss and made a layup with 28 seconds left to cap the scoring.
"When you look around the league, you don't see them getting blown out," Arenas said. "They just play hard. They hang right there and they lose in the end because they don't have the talent that everyone else does."
Arenas scored 34 points and Jamison had 20 and 12 rebounds for his 32nd double-double and 27th 20-10 game.
Butler scored 18 points for Washington (33-30), which has won three straight games to move one-half game in front of Indiana for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.
"When you are up six points with a minute or so to go, a team can always come back," Butler said. "It is always a concern in this league, but we knew we could get this win."
The Wizards opened a four-game homestand with the victory and host Dallas, Chicago and New Jersey as they chase Cleveland, which is two games up for the fourth spot.
Jumaine Jones made 6-of-8 3-pointers and scored 25 points and Bernard Robinson added a career-high 21 off the bench for Charlotte.
"I got most of my points just being active and (point guard) Brevin (Knight) was finding me a lot," Robinson said. "To get involved, I wanted to start off on the defensive end and get the game moving a little bit faster. We came out a little slow and I just wanted to cause some havoc."
The Wizards outrebounded the Bobcats, 55-33.
"When you miss as many shots as we missed tonight, it's automatic that you're going to get outrebounded," Jones said. "We really struggled putting the ball in the basket. We put ourselves in the hole and could never get over that hump."