Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 11/13

Game 1: Saturday, November 13th
Game 2: Monday, January 24th
Game 3: Friday, April 15th

Wizards 106

(25-15, 10-10 away)

Cavaliers 97

(24-16, 14-4 home)

Coverage: FSOH

7:00 PM ET, January 24, 2005

Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

1 2 3 4 T
WSH 13 17 38 38106
CLE 26 14 33 2497

Top Performers

Washington: G. Arenas 30 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Cleveland: L. James 31 Pts, 10 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Surprising Wizards overcome 17-point deficit

CLEVELAND (AP) -- After the final horn sounded, Washington's Anthony Peeler grabbed the ball and slammed it off the Gund Arena floor as hard as he could. As it rose toward the rafters, Peeler pumped his fist and yelled.

The surprising Wizards had done it again.

Peeler made three 3-pointers and scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter, and Gilbert Arenas scored 30 as the Wizards rallied for a 106-97 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

With their 10th win in 12 games, the Wizards (25-15) matched their win total from last season, when they went 25-57.

Washington scored just 30 points in the first half, but overcame a 17-point deficit by making 39 free throws and pulling out the type of game the Wizards probably would have let slip away last season.

"They rattled us in the first half," Arenas said. "We didn't know what to do. But we were down by 10 -- that's five baskets. And the way our guys shoot the 3, less than that."

LeBron James just missed his third triple-double in four games, finishing with 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for Cleveland, which was coming off a six-game West Coast trip. The Cavs lost at home for just the fourth time in 18 games.

"We gave up a lot of free throws," James said after the Cavs attempted just 23 to Washington's 49. "We kept fouling their jump shooters and they just came out and made shots in the second half."

The Wizards also improved to 3-2 without swingman Larry Hughes, sidelined with a broken thumb.

Arenas took special satisfaction in beating James.

"He is the NBA right now," Arenas said of Cleveland's second-year star. "You've got to come to play or he will embarrass you. It's the big matchup, I take it personal."

Peeler drained his 3s in a span of 4:27 and made three free throws after being fouled on a long-range shot for Washington, which entered the fourth down 73-68 before storming back.

Antawn Jamison added 16 points and Brendan Haywood 15 for the Wizards, who had six players score in double figures.

Washington's bench was no factor for most of the first three quarters, chipping in with just two points before the final period. But Peeler started the fourth with a 3-pointer and the Wizards' reserves scored 16 of 20 points to open the quarter.

Peeler's second 3 of the fourth gave the Wizards a 78-76 lead, their first since the game's opening basket. Etan Thomas then scored two straight buckets to make it 82-78 with 6:54 remaining before Peeler, who missed all four of his shots in the first half, hit another long 3.

"He's got the green light for the 3 and he hit them," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.

Cleveland closed to 90-85 on Drew Gooden's two free throws but Arenas hit another 3-pointer, and the Wizards put it away by making 10 free throws in the final 2:31.

The Cavs played their second game without starting point guard Jeff McInnis, out with a sprained left foot. His replacement, Eric Snow, had 10 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in 45 minutes.

Cavs rookie forward Anderson Varejao had 10 rebounds in 19 minutes before bruising his left leg with 8:38 left. The Brazilian was helped to the locker room and did not return. He was on crutches in the locker room afterward and will be evaluated at the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday.

The Wizards managed just 30 points -- a season low for a half -- on 26 percent shooting to trail 40-30 at halftime. But they found their range in the third quarter, making 10 straight shots to pull to 57-56 on a 3-pointer from Arenas.

Game notes

The Wizards shot just 14 percent (3-for-22) and were outscored 18-0 inside during the first quarter. ... McInnis expects to practice on Tuesday and might play Wednesday against Memphis. ... James was named the Eastern Conference's player of the week after averaging 24.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 2.0 steals in the final three games of the Cavs' road trip. James, the East's top player in November, posted two triple-doubles during the week. ... James hasn't decided if he'll take part in next month's dunk contest during All-Star weekend in Denver. "That's still up in the air," he said. ... Ohio State football great Archie Griffin was honored during halftime ceremonies celebrating black history month. ... Washington is 14-1 when holding an opponent under 100 points.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 106 97
FGM-FGA 30-72 (.417) 40-94 (.426)
3PM-3PA 7-20 (.350) 2-9 (.222)
FTM-FTA 39-49 (.796) 15-23 (.652)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-36 19-50
Assists 14 21
Turnovers 14 17
Steals 6 7
Blocks 7 10
Fast Break Points 1 21
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (0/0) 30 (0/0)
Largest Lead 14 17

Top Performers

Gilbert Arenas Arenas
Points: 30
Reb: 4
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
LeBron James James
Points: 31
Reb: 10
Ast: 8
Stl: 2
Blk: 1