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Arenas scores 32, converts late 4-point play

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gilbert Arenas' performance behind the 3-point
line was already impressive. Then he completed a four-point play.

Arenas shot 6-for-9 from behind the arc, including a four-point
play with 1:25 left, and scored 32 points in the Washington
Wizards' 112-102 win over the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

Larry Hughes added 31 points for the Wizards, and shot 4-for-6
on 3-pointers.

"We play off each other pretty well," Hughes said. "I know
when it's time to get him going and he knows when it's time to get
me going. When we're making shots, it gets everyone else involved
and allows everything to open up for us."

The Wizards, who ended a five-game losing streak, avoided their
first regular-season series sweep by Boston in more than 20 years.

"Our guards made shots in a timely fashion," Wizards coach
Eddie Jordan said. "Larry and Gilbert took good shots -- especially
when they go in, they are good. We were under control and we had
more poise tonight."

Jarvis Hayes, who was activated from the injured list before the
game, sparked the Wizards' 8-0 run that gave them a 90-83 lead with
9:33 left. Hayes hit a jumper, made a steal and fed Mitchell Butler
for a dunk. Kwame Brown's hook and Hughes' jumper capped the run.

Arenas then sealed the win with 3-pointers. He made one with
6:14 left for a 94-90 lead. He hit another to make it 101-94 at the
3:55 mark. Then he converted the four-point play over reserve
Marcus Banks for a 109-99 lead with 1:25 left.

It was the Wizards' first four-pointer since Rod Strickland
converted one in 1998.

"We have more people back, so we have more options," Arenas
said. "We hit shots and won the game. And we played a little more
defense at the end."

Banks, who finished with six steals, led the Celtics with a
career-high 24 points on 11-for-13 shooting in 27 minutes.

"The silver lining in the game was Marcus' play," Celtics
coach John Carroll said. "He did a decent job in the first half
and just a marvelous job in the second half."

Paul Pierce added 17 points and tied his career-high with 13
assists. He also had seven rebounds.

"We lost the game but we gained some valuable experience for
Marcus," Pierce said. "Coming down the stretch, we understand how
important he is going to be for us not only in the future, but now,
and especially in the playoffs."

With five games remaining, the Celtics hold a 2{-game lead over
Cleveland for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference
playoffs.

"We're not paying attention to spoiling anybody's playoff
hopes," Arenas said. "We have to just go out there and play
basketball and get familiar with each other so next year it will be
a smooth season."

Banks scored 11 points and Ricky Davis had 10 in the second
quarter for Boston, which led 58-53 at halftime.

"They played much better than we did," Carroll said. "Hughes
and Arenas just put on a show with their offensive game. We had our
chances and just didn't take advantage. It's disappointing to allow
a team to score 112 points and shoot 56 percent.

"That is not getting the job done, so we deserved to lose."

Game notes
The Wizards honored former players Gheorghe Muresan, Mike
Riordan, Harvey Grant, Kevin Grevey and Phil Chenier as part of
"Hardwood Classics Night" on The History Channel. ... Chenier,
who played for the Bullets from 1971-80 and has been a television
analyst for 19 seasons, received an achievement award.

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