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Wizards rebound from abysmal shooting night

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Wizards rebounded from an ugly
loss with an impressive shooting display.

Larry Hughes scored 20 points and Gilbert Arenas added 17 to
lead the Wizards to a 106-87 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on
Monday night.

After tying a season low for points in a 109-74 loss at
Minnesota on Sunday, Washington bounced back and shot a season-best
54.8 percent and scored 60 points in the paint.

"Last night, they whipped us," Arenas said. "Tonight, it's
one those where you have that bad taste in your mouth, but you
can't think about it because you have a game the next day. It's not
one of those games where you sit and have to wait for it."

The Wizards probably couldn't wait to get back home after a
tough West Coast road trip that ended late Sunday night, but
signaled the start of an important stretch in which Washington
plays seven of its next eight at home.

"We needed it, especially after the way we played last night,"
said Antawn Jamison, who scored 15 points after being kept out of
double figures for the first time this season Sunday.
"Playoff-caliber and good teams find a way to get it done,
especially at home."

Especially against the Bobcats, who fell to 1-12 on the road and
0-8 away from home against the Eastern Conference.

"Basically what we were was just a nonentity," Charlotte coach
Bernie Bickerstaff said. "The real simple part of this is we just
were not very good tonight. It's just that simple. There are no
answers to that. That's the bottom line. Philosophically, I can't
come up with anything any better than that."

The one bright spot for the Bobcats continues to be Emeka
Okafor, who scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to extend his
streak of consecutive double-doubles to 16. The last active player
to have that many during his rookie season was Shaquille O'Neal,
who had 15 straight in 1992-93 with Orlando.

"I knew it was possible. I didn't come out and say `I'm going
to get X amount of double-doubles in a row," Okafor said. "My
whole mindset is to come out and play hard and just try to
produce."

Jamison's transition dunk late in the third quarter highlighted
a 13-5 run that put Washington ahead 84-68 heading into the fourth.
By then, the Wizards had things working far better than Sunday.

Charlotte closed to 44-43 with 5:20 left in the first half, but
the Wizards outscored the Bobcats 16-6 the rest of the way to take
a 60-49 lead.

Washington had six players reach double figures and shot 55
percent in the first half -- with Arenas and Brendan Haywood leading
the team's biggest scoring spurts. Arenas scored 14 in the first
half and seven during a 9-2 run that pushed the lead to nine.

Gerald Wallace added 14 points for the Bobcats, and Jason Hart
and Jason Kapono each finished with 12.

Game notes
Washington's Kwame Brown strained a right ankle tendon in
the first half and didn't return. Washington coach Eddie Jordan
said Brown will miss practice tomorrow and be re-evaluated. ...
Charlotte guard Brevin Knight didn't play Monday night because of
the flu. ... Jared Jeffries matched a career high in points with
15.