Wednesday , Jan , 31 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Arenas leads Wizards past Pistons

Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Gilbert Arenas posted 36 points, 11 assists
and seven rebounds, as the Washington Wizards topped the Detroit Pistons,
104-99, at the Verizon Center.

DeShawn Stevenson scored 15 points for the Wizards, who won their third
straight. Caron Butler added 13 points in the win, which was bittersweet.

Wizards forward Antawn Jamison left with a sprained left knee after he banged
it in a collision with Stevenson at the conclusion of a Washington fast
break midway through the first quarter. He did not return.

“We don’t know exactly what is wrong yet,” Washington coach Eddie Jordan said.
“He has been sore and he will not travel with the team to Toronto. He is going
to stay and get an MRI on Thursday and we will take it from there.”

Chauncey Billups notched 24 points and eight assists for the Pistons, who have
lost two of three. Tayshaun Prince netted 19 points, while Richard Hamilton
and Rasheed Wallace both added 15. Antonio McDyess contributed 11 points off
the bench.

With Detroit trailing 91-77 midway through the final stanza, it scored the
next seven points to trail by just seven with 5:29 on the clock.

Arenas’ acrobatic three-point play with 1:44 left bolstered Washington’s lead
back to double-digits, 99-89, but Billups scored on a layup 13 seconds later
and Carlos Delfino’s dunk with 37.9 seconds left made it a six-point game.

However, Butler converted 1-of-2 free throws with 28.5 seconds remaining to
make it a three-possession game. Billups took a give-and-go through the lane
for a layup with 23.9 seconds on the clock, and Antonio Daniels missed a pair
of free throws with 22.4 seconds left.

Prince then came up short on a deep three-point attempt, and Arenas converted
a pair from the charity stripe with 13.6 seconds on the clock to make it a
three-possession game again. Billups managed to score on a quick layup with
six seconds left, but Daniels was successful on two free throws this trip to
seal the win, despite Billups’ layup at the buzzer.

Washington opened the game on a 10-3 burst capped by a pair of Stevenson
layups, and attained a 30-18 first-quarter advantage.

“I think we are better than that,” Hamilton said. “Washington is a great
first-quarter team. We expect them to come out and try to get up first and
things like that.”

The Wizards failed to pull away during the second, adding just one point to
their lead for a 55-42 advantage at halftime.

Detroit regrouped in the locker room, and started to chip away at its deficit
in the third quarter. Wallace’s turnaround jumper with 1:20 remaining cut it
to 10, 74-64, heading into the fourth.

Game Notes

Tuesday’s showdown between Detroit and Washington was the fourth and final
meeting of the regular season…The season series is tied, 2-2, but the
Pistons have won 12 of the last 17 meetings…Detroit has still won eight of
its last 10 at Washington.