Saturday , Nov , 04 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Wizards down Celtics in home opener

Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Gilbert Arenas poured in 44 points and
dished out six assists to lead Washington over Boston, 124-117, in its home
opener at the Verizon Center.

The All-Star guard finished 14-of-25 from the floor for the Wizards, who
bounced back after a tough season opening loss to LeBron James and the
Cleveland Cavaliers.

Antawn Jamison added 29 points and eight rebounds for Washington, while Caron
Butler deposited 20 points and Antonio Daniels donated 15 off the bench.

Wally Szczerbiak netted 33 points for the struggling Celtics, who lost their
third straight game to start the young season. Sebastian Telfair tallied 24
points and handed out six assists while Paul Pierce contributed 23 points, a
game-high 12 rebounds and five assists

Down by 10 points entering the final frame, Boston tried to battle back as the
game headed toward the stretch. Telfair’s twisting layup inside the lane drew
the Celtics to within six, 109-103, with 4:40 left.

But, the Wizards scored six of the game’s next eight points to get the lead
back to double digits. Jamison sandwiched two Pierce free throws with a pair
of layups and Arenas drained two free throws on his own to make it a 115-105
game with 3:04 remaining.

Boston had one last run in them. Telfair connected on a long three from the
right corner to draw the Celtics to within five, 119-114, with 1:04 showing on
the clock.

But, 14 seconds later Butler stemmed the momentum by draining a fade away to
make it a 121-114 game and Boston was unable to recover.

The Wizards raced out to a 35-28 advantage after the first 12 minutes and held
on to take a slim 58-57 advantage into the locker room.

Washington opened a little breathing room, 98-88, with a 40-point offensive
outburst in the third quarter. Arenas highlighted the run-and-gun action with
three treys in the frame.

Game Notes

Washington has won four of its last six home openers…The Wizards were a
solid 28-14 as the host last season…The Celtics were a dismal 12-29 as the
visitor last season…The Wizards will now visit the Orlando Magic on Monday
before returning home for a three-game stand… Boston returns home to host
Charlotte on Wednesday and Utah on November 10th…Last season, the Wizards
won three of four from Boston.