Arenas goes to (bobble)head of the class

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Good thing the Gilbert Arenas talking
bobblehead doll doesn't mention turnovers.

While Washington Wizards fans carried home a mini-Arenas that
brags he can't be stopped, the real Arenas had mixed results in the
first game against his old team.

Arenas had nine points, nine rebounds, five assists and seven
turnovers in Friday night's 97-79 victory over the Golden State

"It's just aggressive play," Arenas said. "Some was dumb, but
that happens in basketball."

Washington snapped a five-game losing streak by using its
perimeter defense to awaken its dormant transition game and take
control in the third quarter. Arenas made a 3-pointer to start a
quarter-ending 19-4 run that put Washington ahead to stay.

"He makes some terrific plays out there, and he makes some
bonehead plays out there," coach Eddie Jordan said. "He's going
to grow. He's a third-year player, and he gives me a lot of
headache, but we've got to have him on the floor."

Asked how he can control Arenas' carelessness but still let him
shine, Jordan said: "Four-year guaranteed contract," which is
what Jordan has.

Arenas was the league's most improved player last season with
the Warriors. He signed a six-year, $65 million contract with the
Wizards in July, and the Wizards commemorated their only home game
against Arenas' former team by giving away bobbleheads that said,
in Arenas' voice: "You can trap me, you can double me, you can
foul me, but the one thing you'll never do is stop me. I will drive
the lane. I am Gilbert Arenas. We are the Wizards."

Arenas returned from an abdominal injury earlier in the week,
and he said before the game that he is only "75-80 percent." He
made only one shot in the first half but was active in the second
half, using his quick hands on defense to start several fast

"It was weird playing against your old teammates," Arenas
said. "But it's just like going in practice against each other.
You're talking trash; you're hitting each other. It was fun."

Jarvis Hayes, who will be honored by the University of Georgia
at a home game against Georgia Tech on Saturday, came off the bench
for only the third time this season and scored 20 points for

Larry Hughes added 15 points and Jared Jeffries had 10 points
and tied a career-high with 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who set
season highs in rebounds (58) and assists (30).

The victory came after a one-hour players' only meeting on

"We're not a team in disarray. We're together," Jordan said.
"We just haven't been able to win ballgames."

Jason Richardson scored 25 points for the Warriors, who have
lost four straight overall and five in a row on the road, losing by
an average of 19 points. Golden State has three games remaining on
this road trip.

"It seems that when we get down on the road we don't have any
heart to fight back -- no kind of enthusiasm to get back into the
game," guard Nick Van Exel said.

Game notes
Arenas' best NBA game came against the Wizards, when he
scored a career-high 41 points last season in a 113-107 Warriors
victory. ... Arenas said he remains close with two Warriors
players, Richardson and Troy Murphy, but that he doesn't follow the
fortunes of the team in general. "They are two of my best friends
in the league, but it's a game now," he said. ... Jordan started
Christian Laettner and Brendan Haywood in place of Etan Thomas and
Hayes. Interestingly, the switch came after Jordan criticized
Laettner's play in pregame remarks, saying the veteran had not
adjusted well to the coach's transition-style game. ... The
Warriors activated Popeye Jones from the injured list. Jones tore
cartilage in his left knee Nov. 5 and had missed 24 games. ...
Warriors F Brian Cardinal played with a mask on his face after
breaking his nose in Wednesday's loss at New Jersey. ... Jerry
Stackhouse hasn't played this season because of a knee injury, and
his date of return keeps moving back. Wizards general manager Ernie
Grunfeld said he hopes Stackhouse will suit up before the end of
the month.


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