Arenas carries Wizards past Pistons in 2 OT
Auburn Hills, MI (Sports Network) – Gilbert Arenas poured in 39 points and
dished out eight assists, as the Washington Wizards snapped a five-game losing
streak with a 120-114 double-overtime win over the Detroit Pistons at The
Palace of Auburn Hills.
Antawn Jamison added 22 points and pulled down 20 rebounds for Washington,
which overcame 36 percent shooting to snap a 10-game skid against Detroit.
Caron Butler had 27 points and Chucky Atkins added 29 before fouling out for
the Wizards, who beat the Pistons for the first time since December 4, 2002.
Washington had 14 points off free throws in the second overtime.
“We weren’t looking at history, we were just looking at tonight possession by
possession,” said Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan. “We supported each other
and stayed disciplined when the Pistons put the heat on us. It was a credit to
our guys to stay resilient after five straight losses. It was an important
learning process for us tonight.”
Rasheed Wallace led the way with 33 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, which
lost for just the second time in 11 games this season. Chauncey Billups had 21
points before fouling out for the Pistons, whose other loss came by 37 points
at Dallas last Saturday night.
Tayshaun Prince had 17 points and nine rebounds and Ben Wallace contributed
nine points and 16 boards for Detroit. However, Ben Wallace, Billups and
Richard Hamilton all fouled out for the Pistons.
Despite making just 36-of-100 shots from the field, the Wizards shot 38-of-46
from the foul line and took advantage of a poor shooting night from Billups
and Hamilton, who combined to go 8-of-32 from the floor.
Four free throws by Butler started the second OT to give the Wizards a 108-104
lead and they were in front the rest of the way.
Hamilton’s three-point play drew the Pistons within 112-110 with 1:02
remaining, but Arenas drilled a jumper and Jamison canned two free throws
after Antonio McDyess missed a layup, as the Wizards led 116-110 with 34.5
seconds left. Detroit could get no closer than five points.
Washington used a 13-2 run to close the first quarter ahead 26-13. Arenas had
seven points during the spurt.
The Pistons trailed by as many as 17 points in the second, but used a 14-6 run
to close within 48-43 at the half.
“We got ahead of ourselves after we got that 17-point lead. We remember in the
past blowing leads to them,” Arenas said. “They’ve beaten us plenty of times
when we had big leads.”
Detroit again fell behind by double digits in the third, but closed within
74-73 by the end of the quarter. It was tight throughout most of the fourth
and two free throws by Arenas with 2.3 seconds left forced overtime. Arenas
was fouled at the top of the arc by Billups before canning his two free
throws.Rasheed Wallace was off the mark on a jumper as time expired.
Ben Wallace’s follow jam off a Billups missed scoop shot tied the game at
with 0.6 seconds left in the first OT, and he was fouled on the power.
However, the ensuing free throw was off the mark and time expired.
“That was one of those games that sometimes how you start is how you finish,”
said Pistons head coach Flip Saunders. “We started bad. We didn’t have enough
confidence. We let them get into a rhythm and it seems like we were fighting
uphill for the next 58 minutes.”
Jamison has 36 rebounds in his last two games…Washington has won just two of
the last 16 meetings…Jared Jeffries had 15 rebounds for Washington…Arenas
was 10-of-32 from the field and 17-of-19 from the foul line…Butler (9-of-10)
and Jamison (8-of-9) each missed one foul shot…Hamilton had 11 points and
McDyess had 10 points and nine rebounds.