<
>

Arenas, Jamison carry Wizards to finish line

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison sure looked
like All-Stars against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

One day before the All-Star reserves are announced, Arenas
matched his career high with 43 points to help the Washington
Wizards beat the Pacers 108-104. Jamison added 20 points, combining
with Arenas for 19 of Washington's 21 points in the final 8
minutes.

The Wizards trailed by eight with 9:57 to play, but Arenas
started the comeback with a 3-pointer and Jamison finally put
Washington ahead to stay at 102-100 with a sweeping hook in the
lane with 1:27 left.

"He's been lighting everybody up the first half of the year. He
is a guy that we talked a lot about, and he is one of those guys
that can make plays," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "Arenas
will be in the All-Star game. I believe Jamison will be in it as
well. I think both those guys are deserving, especially considering
their record."

Arenas, who also had 43 points in a Jan. 18 loss to Dallas,
missed a shot in the lane with the Wizards up 106-104, giving the
Pacers a chance to tie or win with less than 9 seconds to play. But
Indiana's Fred Jones lost control of the ball, and Juan Dixon made
two free throws with 3.6 seconds to seal the Wizards' second
straight win.

"No," Arenas said when asked if he was worried about Indiana's
last possession. "Because if they did tie it, I was going to go
down and win it anyway."

Arenas finished the night 15-of-28 from the floor.

The Wizards have won two straight after four consecutive losses,
a stretch that might hurt Arenas and Jamison in the All-Star voting
by the coaches.

"We really haven't thought about it. We know that tomorrow's
the big D-day or whatever you want to call it, but it's all about
wins," Jamison said. "Yesterday was when it first hit me that the
opportunity really presented itself. If it happens, it's one of my
greatest accomplishments."

Jermaine O'Neal scored 30 points for the Pacers, and Stephen
Jackson had 29 -- 22 in the second half when he shot 8-for-11 from
the floor and made five 3-pointers.

"I am just trying to get my legs back, feel comfortable with my
teammates and find spots to hit shots," Jackson said . "I was
able to do that today, but all that hard work for no win definitely
hurts."

Arenas scored 22 points in the first half on 8-for-15 shooting
to put Washington ahead 56-53 at halftime.

However, Indiana overtook Washington midway through the third
quarter on a layup by Jeff Foster and pushed the lead as high as
eight in the fourth quarter before Arenas and Jamison took control.

Foster added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who had
won two straight following a six-game losing streak.

Dixon had 11 points off the bench for Washington.

Game notes
Indiana guard Jamaal Tinsley missed his fourth straight
game because of a bruised left foot. Carlisle said Tinsley would
"hopefully" be available for Wednesday night's home game against
Charlotte. ... Arenas has scored 30 or more points 13 times this
season and seven times in nine games. ... Indiana is 4-1 on the
road against the Southeast Division.