Saturday , Nov , 05 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Wizards deny Brown first win with Knicks

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Gilbert Arenas scored a game-high 27 points
and Antawn Jamison added 20, as the Washington Wizards defeated the New York
Knicks, 86-75, at Madison Square Garden.

“Gilbert had the fire in his eyes,” said Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan.
“When you saw him knock down three or four of those difficult shots, he just
edges us on. We kind of rode his coattails.”

Brendan Haywood added 11 points and Michael Ruffin pulled down nine rebounds
for the Wizards, who have opened the season with two straight road wins.
Washington also snapped a two-game losing streak to New York, dating back to
last season.

Jamison added seven rebounds in the win.

Stephon Marbury paced New York with 19 points and a team-high three assists
while Eddy Curry chipped in 12 points for the Knicks, who are still looking
for their first win under new head coach Larry Brown.

New York fell in overtime to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday in Brown’s
regular-season debut. Brown was hired in the offseason after leaving the
Detroit Pistons following a two-year stint.

“We were down so badly in the first quarter, I was just looking for some
enthusiasm and effort,” Brown said. “I want to find out how our guys can play.
Hopefully, when we settle on the rotation, we can figure that out. We have a
lot of work to do.”

Antonio Davis grabbed 14 rebounds, including six offensive, and New York had
29 total offensive boards while outrebounding the Wizards 59-35 in the loss.

Washington led 43-35 at the half, but Curry’s basket pulled the Knicks to
within 45-44 with 8:18 left in the third quarter. However, the Wizards
responded and Jamison’s three-point bucket moments later put Washington up by
10 at 57-47.

New York would battle back however, and two Rose free throws gave the Knicks
their first lead since the first quarter at 61-59. The two teams then found
themselves tied at 61 going into the fourth after Arenas’ field goal knotted
it with 29 seconds left.

“We showed poise early,” said Arenas. “Tonight we grew in one game. We just
have to keep maturing as a team and as individuals and I think this team will
go far.”

The teams were still tied just over four minutes into the fourth quarter until
Jamison’s layup ignited a 10-1 run that put the Wizards up 77-68 with 5:37

Matt Barnes’ two free throws then pulled New York to within five with 4:46 to
go in the final frame, but again Washington answered. Jamison nailed a wide-
open three-pointer with just over three minutes remaining to put the Wizards
up 83-73 en route to the 11-point win.

The Knicks fell behind early and battled up hill the rest of the first half.

Marbury’s basket early in the first quarter gave New York a 5-3 lead before
Washington went on a 17-4 run to go up 20-9 with 4:48 left in the opening
frame. The Wizards would close out the stanza with a 32-16 lead as they shot
70 percent from the floor, compared to only 28 percent shooting by the Knicks.

“It is a new group and at times it’s difficult because you never played with
some of the guys,” Marbury said. “But there is no excuse for us going out and
not playing with energy.”

New York opened up the second period with six straight points and Nate
Robinson hit a pair of free throws with 7:25 remaining to make it a 35-24
game. However, Ruffin’s field goal put Washington up 15 late in the
first half and the Wizards eventually went into the break with a 43-35 lead.

Game Notes

Washington’s Caron Butler was inactive with a thigh injury…New York is now
31-29 in home-openers since the 1947-48 season…The Knicks still lead the
all-time series 147-105…The Wizards had 17 assists in the game, compared to
New York’s 11…Washington’s biggest lead in the game was 19.