Gilbert Arenas is having an MVP season, but he knows it's too early to start thinking about those kinds of awards.

Arenas look to help the Washington Wizards extend their home winning streak to nine games when they meet the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Arenas is averaging 30.2 points this season, second in the league to Denver's Carmelo Anthony (31.6). He scored 51 points and hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer Monday in Washington's 114-111 home win over Utah.

Arenas, who hit three 3-pointers and three free throws in the final 2:09, walked off the court to chants of "M-V-P!"

"MVP? That trophy is given out at the end of the year," he said. "This is (37) games into the season so you can't do too much about it."

Arenas has scored at least 40 points seven times this season, including a team-record 60 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 17, and the Wizards are 6-1 in those contests. The team is 3-14 when he scores 26 or fewer, including Saturday's 93-80 defeat at San Antonio as he was held to 17 points.

On Monday, he matched the Verizon Center record of 51 points, set by Michael Jordan against the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 29, 2001.

"I'm going for the gusto," Arenas said. "I'm going for that winner. The funny part is I was sitting right here before the game and I told DeShawn (Stevenson): 'I feel like 37 and the game-winner tonight.' So when I told him after the game: 'What did I say?' He just started laughing and said: 'Man, you were right.'"

Caron Butler added 21 points for Washington, which had lost three of four.

The Wizards have not lost at home since a 114-109 defeat to Houston on Dec. 9. They've averaged 113.1 points during this eight-game win streak at the Verizon Center, one shy of their longest run at home last season.

The Knicks (17-22) have won four of five, including Monday's 102-97 victory over Sacramento. Despite a lackluster record, New York is just one game out of first place in the watered-down Atlantic Division.

"We just want to be around at the end, with the last week or so of the season, when they are talking about teams that could possibly make the playoffs, win the division or win the race," coach Isiah Thomas said. "We want to be one of those teams that they are talking about. The important thing for us right now, is to keep our head down, stay in our lane, and make sure we keep running the race."

Thomas inserted Quentin Richardson back into the starting lineup to improve his team's defense after a 126-110 loss to Charlotte on Friday, and brought in Jamal Crawford off the bench. Crawford scored eight of his 10 points in the final 1:07 to help the Knicks earn the win.

"By him coming off the bench and starting this year, it's become an easy adjustment for him," said Stephon Marbury, who had a team-high 25 points. "When he comes in the game, it takes him some time. He made the big shots, down the stretch he made the big free throws."

The Knicks and Wizards have split two meetings this season, both of which came in New York.


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