Arenas, Wizards even series with win over Cavs
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Gilbert Arenas scored 20 of his team-high 34
points in the fourth quarter, as the Wizards beat Cleveland, 106-96, to even
their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series after four games.
Antawn Jamison added 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Caron Butler tallied 21
points for Washington, which rallied from a 13-point deficit in the third
quarter and bounced back from a 97-96 Game 3 home loss Friday night.
“That was night and day,” Arenas said comparing the first and second halves of
the game. “Nothing was falling for me, but I stuck in there playing defense
and tried to get my hand on loose balls; just trying to stay in the game. In
the fourth quarter, I just had it rolling.”
LeBron James had 38 points and made a franchise-record seven three-pointers
for the fourth-seeded Cavaliers, who were hurt by 23 turnovers, leading to
27 Washington points. James went 7-of-12 from beyond the arc, and Flip
Murray added 19 points in a losing cause.
James didn’t score in the third quarter and had just 13 points after halftime.
“They switched their defense up and started running Gilbert Arenas at me, so I
didn’t want to force anything,” James said. “I gave the ball up and we just
missed some open shots.”
Game 5 will be Wednesday night in Cleveland.
Washington used a 10-1 run, highlighted by long distance shots from Arenas and
Jamison, to take an 82-76 lead in the final quarter. James drained a shot from
beyond the arc for the opening points of the period for a 75-72 Cleveland
lead, but the Cavaliers then fell apart. Arenas responded with a three at the
other end, and after Larry Hughes missed a shot, Jamison canned another three-
Murray hit one foul shot for the Cavs, but Arenas hit a fadeaway jumper and
Antonio Daniels’ jumper capped the rally with 9:03 left, extending the score
An Arenas three-point play moved the score to 90-80 halfway through the
quarter and Cleveland never got closer than five the rest of the way. A layup
by Zydrunas Ilgauskas brought the Cavs within 91-86 with 3:57 remaining.
Arenas though drilled another three, extending Washington’s cushion to 96-87
with 3:22 left.
“I decided I was not going to call any plays to start the second half,”
Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan said. “Our guys know how to play. They can
play our concepts and our principles. We focused mostly on our passing game,
using our pick and rolls and moving the basketball. That is how we got it
The Wizards scored the final six points of the opening quarter to trail 27-26
after 12 minutes. Cleveland used a 19-8 run to close the first half to lead
57-46. The Cavs shot 55.9 percent in the first two periods, compared to 40.5
percent for Washington, and James was 5-of-7 on three-point tries in the
opening 24 minutes.
Cleveland’s largest lead came at 64-50 following a layup from Hughes with 9:45
left in the third. The Wizards used an 8-0 run to tie the game at 72 heading
into the fourth. Arenas had five of those points.
“We had nine turnovers for 17 points in the second half,” Cavs head coach Mike
Brown said. “Those types of things are hard to overcome.”
James set a franchise playoff record for points in a quarter (18) and half
(25)…Daniels had 13 points…Jared Jeffries ended with nine points and 11
boards for Washington, which went 32-of-40 at the foul line…Arenas made 14
of his 17 free throws…Ilgauskas had 13 points and Donyell Marshall added 11
rebounds for the Cavs, which finished shooting 50 percent, nearly eight
percent better than Washington.