Arenas, Wizards roll past Nuggets
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Gilbert Arenas scored 23 of his 34 points in
the first half as the Washington Wizards throttled the Denver Nuggets, 120-91,
at the Verizon Center.
Caron Butler added 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Wizards,
who rebounded from a 114-109 loss to Houston on Saturday to win for the fourth
time in five outings. Antawn Jamison tallied 19 points and Brendan Haywood had
12 points and 13 rebounds for Washington, which improved to 1-1 on its current
Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 37 points and eight rebounds to lead the
Nuggets, who fell to 1-2 on their current five-game road trip. Reggie Evans
added 12 points and 10 rebounds and Marcus Camby had 12 points and seven
boards for Denver, which fell behind early and never recovered.
With the game tied at 10-10 in the early stages, Washington ran off five
straight points to take the lead for good. Haywood’s three-point play 4 1/2
minutes into the contest gave the Wizards a 15-10 edge and that lead quickly
Ahead 17-14, Washington went on a 16-4 run to take a 33-18 advantage. Arenas
had eight points during the surge, which was capped by a Jamison bucket with
just under three minutes to play and the Wizards cruised into the second with
a 39-26 cushion.
Washington kept Denver at bay throughout the second, grabbing a 16-point lead
at 62-46 following a pair of Arenas free throws with 1 1/2 minutes to go in
the quarter, and went into halftime with a 63-51 lead.
In the third, Denver came alive and drew within 65-61 three minutes into the
half. Evans connected on a three-point play and Anthony converted a technical
foul free throw to cap the surge.
Washington, though, quickly pulled away. Ahead 70-64, the Wizards scored 16 of
the next 24 points to go back ahead by double-figures, 86-72. Haywood ended
the run with a three-point play and Washington went into the fourth with a
Denver, which was coming off a 100-87 win in Atlanta on Tuesday night, never
threatened in the final 12 minutes and Washington won going away.
This was the first of two meetings between these to teams this season…The
Wizards have now won two straight after losing six in a row to
Denver…Washington also ended a three-game home slide to the Nuggets…Denver
fell to 6-4 on the road while Washington improved to 8-3 at home.