Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/16

Game 1: Friday, December 16th
Wizards91Final
Lakers97
Game 2: Monday, December 26th
Lakers91Final
Wizards94

Lakers 91

(15-13, 9-7 away)

Wizards 94

(12-14, 7-4 home)

Coverage: WBDC

7:00 PM ET, December 26, 2005

Verizon Center, Washington, DC

1 2 3 4 T
LAL 29 23 14 2591
WSH 20 23 29 2294

Top Performers

Los Angeles: K. Bryant 31 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

Washington: G. Arenas 34 Pts, 7 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Arenas, Wizards ruin Brown's homecoming in Washington

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gilbert Arenas outdueled Kobe Bryant and helped the Washington Wizards to their third straight win.

Arenas scored 34 and keyed the Wizards' second-half comeback, leading Washington to a 94-91 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night.

Bryant finished with 31 points, and hit two key 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to keep the Lakers in the game, but he couldn't get off a potential game-tying shot in the final seconds.

"It got weird toward the end on this one, but it was our third win in a row," said Arenas, who shot 11-for-23 from the field and 10-for-11 from the line.

The Wizards trailed by as many as 16 points in the second quarter and were down by nine at the break. They ended the third quarter on a 21-3 run to take a 72-66 lead. Arenas scored 10 points during the decisive run.

The Lakers trailed by three points with 16 seconds left and got the ball back after Arenas was whistled for traveling on a stutter step. The Wizards double-teamed Bryant on the sideline, and he lost the ball. The Wizards recovered and ran out the clock.

"We botched the play up and didn't execute it right. The spacing was messed up," Bryant said. "We had a nice screen and roll situation. ... We just didn't execute if properly."

Arenas said the team struggled at first to find its stroke after returning from a five-game West Coast trip.

"It's hard to get that home rhythm that you are used to," he said. "It kicked in in the second half."

Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan smiled and said "we designed it just right" when asked about his team's defense on Bryant in the final seconds.

"We just wanted to make sure Kobe didn't get a good look," Jordan said. "Kobe tried to turn and make a pass at the same time, and it just slipped out of his hand. That's just part of fatigue."

The Wizards led throughout the fourth, though never by more than eight, and Bryant twice hit 3-pointers late in the period to bring the Lakers within three.

Washington's second-half surge came after it shot just 15-of-45 from the field in the first half. Besides Arenas' 7-for-14 half, the rest of the team shot only 8-of-31.

Antawn Jamison added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards.

Bryant finished with 31 points after missing his first six shots. He scored 20 in the first half but was 4-of-11 in the second half. He shot 10-for-27 overall, with Caron Butler guarding him most of the game.

Twice in the second half, Bryant was whistled for palming the ball, and Jackson received a technical foul in the second half.

"What is it Leo Durocher says? 'We was robbed'? Is that the line he used?" Jackson said. "That was quite an exhibition out there tonight. For the second half, it was kind of uphill sledding out there. ... Two palming violations on Kobe when he's probably the least offender."

Jackson said the second half "just kind of went quickly south on us and we were in foul trouble and it was a parade to the line in the third quarter."

The Wizards were called for 30 fouls in the game and the Lakers 28.

Smush Parker added 16 points for the Lakers, who shot 14-of-38 in the second half.

Kwame Brown, the Wizards' No. 1 overall pick in 2001, returned to Washington for the first time since being traded to the Lakers. Heavily booed by the sellout crowd when he entered the game late in the first quarter, Brown finished with five points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes.

He was also on the receiving end of derisive laughs when a pass to him bounced off his head and went out of bounds.

"It was worse than that when I was here," Brown said of the boos.

The Wizards' three-game winning streak coincides with the decision to move Butler into the starting lineup and play the 6-foot-11 Jared Jeffries at shooting guard.

"I'm very excited about the lineup," Jordan said before the game. "We've been trying to get the right guy next to Gilbert all year."

Game Notes
Lakers coach Phil Jackson said before the game that he believes Bryant deserved better treatment than he received from Miami fans during the Lakers' Christmas Day loss to the Heat. "I was disappointed in Miami people last night. He played a great game ... I think that was poor sportsmanship." ... Arenas scored at least 30 points for the 13th time this season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
LAL
WSH
Points 91 94
FGM-FGA 31-75 (.413) 31-81 (.383)
3PM-3PA 6-19 (.316) 5-21 (.238)
FTM-FTA 23-30 (.767) 27-33 (.818)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-45 17-48
Assists 17 13
Turnovers 18 12
Steals 8 5
Blocks 3 3
Fast Break Points 6 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (1/0) 30 (0/0)
Largest Lead 16 8

Top Performers

Los Angeles
Washington
Kobe Bryant Bryant
Points: 31
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 1
Gilbert Arenas Arenas
Points: 34
Reb: 7
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 1