"It feels great," Arenas said after scoring 38 points with
eight assists during the Wizards' 106-97 victory on Monday night.
"It shows what we're capable of doing if we come out and play
hard. But we have to get a streak of our own pretty soon here if we
want to be in that race."
All of Washington's starters scored in double figures in the
first three quarters. Only once had the team accomplished that in a
full game this season.
Antawn Jamison had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Caron Butler added
14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Wizards, who
built leads of 20 points in the first half and 31 in the third
Dirk Nowitzki, who led Dallas with 27 points, capped a 19-6 run
with a 3-pointer that pulled the Mavericks to within 102-95 with
1:07 remaining. Devin Harris scored nine points during the spree
and finished with 14. Jerry Stackhouse and Devean George also
scored 14 points for Dallas.
"They didn't quit," Jamison said. "They finished the game
like a veteran team, as they should have. They've won 12 straight,
so we knew it was going to be tough since they play well on the
road. We did a great job of putting them on the ropes early."
The Mavericks' 12-game winning streak was the longest in the NBA
"It doesn't take much for us to get hot and make some shots.
Down 20, that's doable in a game -- 30 is a huge hole and it was
just too deep," said Nowitzki.
The Wizards went on a 17-4 run to open the third quarter, capped
by Jarvis Hayes' 3-pointer for a 76-45 lead with 6:24 remaining in
A sequence earlier in the period epitomized the game. Arenas
banked home a 3-pointer off the glass that gave Washington a 69-45
lead and Nowitzki's ensuing jumper at the other end drew nothing
"We felt that they were going to cool down, they just never
really did," Stackhouse said of the Wizards, who shot 49.5 percent
and outrebounded the Mavericks, 59-46.
The victory was the Wizards' first in their last seven meetings
with the Mavericks, whose five-game road winning streak also ended.
The last time Washington defeated Dallas was Nov. 5, 2003, when
Arenas posted the first of his three career triple-doubles.
"Tonight we just went out there and played hard and did what we
do best," Arenas said. "This is one win we got that we told
ourselves the way we'd been losing that we had to get a win. Now we
have to go on the road and just play good basketball."
The Wizards, who are 0-8 on the road, visit New York on
"Our problem hasn't been finding a way to get it done at
home," Jamison said. "It's been finding a way to bottle that
energy and that passion at home and bringing it on the road."
Butler's dunk on the run gave Washington a 15-point lead midway
through the second quarter. DeShawn Stevenson's jumper extended the
Wizards' lead to 57-37 with 2:18 remaining in the half.
Jamison and Arenas shot a combined 9-of-12 in the first quarter
and the Wizards, who shot 71 percent in the period, took a 31-23
"We had to play from behind tonight and we just waited too long
to respond," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We just
couldn't get anything to fall for us offensively in the first
quarter. They deserved to win the game."
^@Notes: Arenas was held under 20 points for the third time this
season on Saturday night in Chicago. In the previous two instances
in which Arenas failed to score 20 points, he averaged 36 points in
the following games. Last season, Arenas was held under 20 points
14 times, and he averaged 33.1 points in his next games. ...
Butler's seven assists were a season high.