Arenas hits for 54 as Wizards end Suns’ 15-game surge
Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Gilbert Arenas poured in 54 points, as the
Washington Wizards cut short the scorching Phoenix Suns’ franchise-record 15-
game winning streak with a 144-139 overtime victory.
Arenas banked in a trey with 30.7 seconds left in overtime to put Washington
ahead by five, but Amare Stoudemire hit a pair of free throws with 22.6
seconds left to make it a one-possession game.
Caron Butler answered with a pair from the stripe with 21.1 seconds left to
put the Wizards back up by five and Antonio Daniels converted 1-of-2 with 10.9
Steve Nash came right back with a three with 7.6 seconds left to cut the Suns’
deficit to 142-139, but Butler hit a pair from the stripe with 5.2 seconds
left to seal the win for Washington.
This was the second 50-plus point game for Arenas in less than a week. He had
a franchise-record 60 in a 147-141 overtime in over the Lakers Sunday. On
Friday, he shot 21-of-37 from the field.
Butler posted 34 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who have won five of
six. DeShawn Stevenson posted 18 points and six boards, while Antawn Jamison
had 15 points and 12 boards. Brendan Haywood added 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Nash posted a career-high matching 42 points and 12 assists for the Suns, who
arrived about two hours before tipoff after having been snowed in Denver for
two nights. Shawn Marion had 28 points and 13 rebounds, while Boris Diaw
had 17 points and 11 assists. Leandro Barbosa also scored 17 points and
Stoudemire added 16 points and 11 boards.
Jarvis Hayes drilled a long three with 1:04 remaining in regulation, but
Butler touched the ball after it dropped through the hoop for a delay-of-game
technical foul. Nash missed the free throw, but Stoudemire scored a reverse
dunk with 41.5 seconds on the clock to put the Suns ahead by three.
Arenas converted a pair of free throws with 36.6 seconds on the clock to make
it a one-point game, but Nash hit a pair from the charity stripe with 23.9
seconds left to put Phoenix back up by three.
Arenas turned the corner around the right side, banked a running finger-roll,
and drew another foul on Marion. He then hit the game-tying free throw with
20.9 seconds left. The Suns had three shots at the basket to win the
game, all of which came up short, as it went into overtime tied at 127.
The Wizards jumped out to an early 39-28 first-quarter lead, but Phoenix
chipped five points off that deficit in the second to trail 64-58 at halftime.
Washington outscored the Suns by a point in the third to take a 97-90 lead
into the fourth.
This was the first of two meetings between the Wizards and Phoenix this
season. Washington is scheduled to host the Suns on January 23, 2007 at the
Verizon Center…Washington has lost 15 of its last 18 at Phoenix. The home
team has won six of the last nine meetings in this series…Nash scored 18
straight Suns points at one juncture, setting a franchise record…Arenas’
points are a record for the U.S. Airways Center, eclipsing the 51 from the
Lakers’ Kobe Bryant April 7 of this year.