Author Topic: WIZARDS: The Big Game Friday Night (Jan 19)  (Read 334 times)

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Offline Senators2005

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WIZARDS: The Big Game Friday Night (Jan 19)
« Topic Start: January 19, 2007, 05:17:46 PM »
I know there's not that many Wizards followers here but I must mention the game tonight at 7 PM.  The Washington Wizards are tied for first place in their division with the Orlando Magic.  They play tonight to much fanfare at the TD Waterhouse Centre in Florida and it will be aired on Comcast SportsNet at 7PM.  Probably one of the most exciting matchups for the Wiz since the playoff run last year.

Offline Senators2005

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WIZARDS: The Big Game Friday Night (Jan 19)
« Reply #1: January 19, 2007, 05:19:03 PM »
Wizards-Magic Preview
By KATE HEDLIN; STATS writer

Gilbert Arenas didn't turn on the 'hibachi' grill in his previous outing, and maybe the Orlando Magic should be worried.

Coming off one of his poorer shooting nights of the season, Arenas looks to return to his high-scoring ways as the Washington Wizards (22-16) take on the Magic (22-17) at Amway Arena on Friday.

Arenas scored 51 points in a 114-111 victory over Utah on Monday, capped by a winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. His performance Wednesday was far less effective, as the New York Knicks hounded him into a 4-for-14, 16-point effort in Washington's 99-98 win.

"The 'hibachi' grill didn't get turned on tonight," said Arenas, referring to the word he sometimes yells when taking a shot. "I'm not going to go out there and try to beat the double team the whole night. That's pointless."

With Arenas mostly shut down, it was Caron Butler who came up big, taking a pass from DeShawn Stevenson and making a go-ahead dunk with 2.2 seconds left.

Butler, who had 27 points and a career-high 10 assists, said that even though Arenas didn't factor physically in the play, his presence was a big part.

"So much of the focus was on Gilbert, that enabled us to get open," he said. "DeShawn made a great play. We made eye contact and he threw it to me on the backdoor slip and I just finished real strong on the dunk."

It was the first time in six games this season that the Wizards won when Arenas failed to score 20 points.

While it's encouraging for Washington to finally win without a big contribution from its star, Arenas has bounced back immediately from those subpar performances this season. He's followed up each of those games with point totals of 44, 28, 38, 32 and Monday's 51. The Wizards went 4-1 in those games.

The Magic are already well aware of what Arenas, who averages 29.9 points per game, can do. He scored 24 points in the Wizards' 106-103 loss in the teams' first meeting Nov. 6, and had 14 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter of Washington's 112-111 win Dec. 29.

"Well, they've got a little bird down there named Gilbert who's not too bad," Orlando's Keyon Dooling said after the last matchup. "He's one of those guys who's special. He'll go down in history as being one of the greatest. He showed his greatness in the second half. He just turned it on and it's almost impossible to guard him."

Dooling and the Magic are coming off an 84-78 overtime loss to New Orleans on Tuesday. Dwight Howard scored 17 points and had 15 rebounds, and Hedo Turkoglu added 16 points and seven boards, but Orlando finished 1-3 on its four-game road trip.

The Magic's point total was a season low, and they scored only 14 points and shot 5-of-17 with six turnovers in the second quarter. They failed to score in overtime until the final 10 seconds and finished the game shooting 34.9 percent.

Following Friday's contest, Orlando and Washington don't meet again until their final matchup April 17. Each of the last nine games between the clubs have been decided by fewer than 10 points.

WIZARDS: The Big Game Friday Night (Jan 19)
« Reply #2: January 19, 2007, 06:39:30 PM »
I hope Merlin is healthy because Harry Potter can't shoot 3-pointers to safe his life.

Offline Senators2005

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WIZARDS: The Big Game Friday Night (Jan 19)
« Reply #3: January 20, 2007, 08:47:42 AM »
Jamison Carries Division-Leading Wiz Past Magic



ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Orlando Magic had a chance to snap a three-game losing streak and regain the Southeast Division lead all at once.

Instead they got hammered by one of the worst road teams in the conference -- and the best team in the division.

Gilbert Arenas scored 30 points and Antawn Jamison had 31 points and a season-high 16 rebounds to lift Washington over the Magic 114-93 Friday, widening the Wizards' new division lead to 1? games.

"We wanted to come out and show we have been in the playoffs the last two years and we can be the dominant team out here," Arenas said.

The Magic haven't made the playoffs in three years, and looked like it in the second half. After playing to a 45-all halftime tie, the Wizards outscored Orlando 69-48 in the last two quarters.

Arenas and Caron Butler led Washington on a 13-4 run with a combined nine points that gave the Wizards an 81-71 lead with 1:11 left in the period. The lead had changed 23 times by that point, but wouldn't tip again.

"I think we should be embarrassed by the way we played in the second half," Magic coach Brian Hill said. "I think we were totally outworked and outhustled in every aspect of the game, every player on the floor."

Grant Hill led Orlando with 24 points, while Dwight Howard had 20 points and 13 rebounds and Jameer Nelson added 15 points and seven assists. Hill also dislocated his pinky after getting it caught on a jersey while trying to block DeShawn Stevenson's shot, but the club said the injury wasn't serious.

Washington extended its lead to 17 with six minutes in the game, and responded each time Orlando scrapped up some momentum. Arenas effectively ended Orlando's last hope by sneaking backdoor for a wide open layup after a monstrous Howard dunk for the Magic.

Again, turnovers doomed Orlando. Averaging an NBA-worst 17 giveaways a game, the Magic coughed it up 19 times for 29 Washington points, while the Wizards had just seven turnovers.

Arenas also added seven rebounds and six assists.

The teams' two previous matchups this season were decided by a total of four points, with each winning one. They'll meet once more in April at Washington.

"They usually give us problems here," Butler said. "We wanted to come out and get this win. It meant a lot to us."

Arenas, the league's second-leading scorer at 29.9 points a game, had an off night in the Wizard's win Wednesday, scoring 16 points. It was just the sixth time this season he's scored fewer than 20. He is averaging almost 39 points in the game following those six sub-20 efforts.

"Gilbert had a terrific floor game," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "Outside of being a scorer, he really defended well, passed ahead to the guys who were out sprinting, and that was our main theme tonight -- let's get out and sprint and push and dictate the tempo."

Hill announced before the game that little-used guard Travis Diener would back up Nelson instead of Carlos Arroyo. Arroyo had become a fan favorite, started four games with Nelson out, and gave the Magic a steady, pass-first hand at the point. He scored 23 in Orlando's win over Washington earlier this season, but struggled lately. He was averaging three points his last five games.

Diener often didn't suit up, and appeared in just 13 games for the Magic before Friday. He finished with no points on 0-for-3 shooting and no assists against Washington.