Arenas, Jamison lift Warriors over Wizards, 113-107

Duo's combined 78 points overwhelm Washington

March 24, 2003|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Golden State Warriors coach Eric Musselman said he got a call earlier in the day yesterday from former Detroit Pistons assistant coach Brendan Suhr, asking if the new Warriors coach wanted an update of the "Jordan Rules" defense the Pistons once employed against Michael Jordan.

Turns out the Washington Wizards could have used the "Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison Rules" defense. The Warriors' combo blistered them for a combined 78 points, leading Golden State to a 113-107 win last night.

Arenas, who had 17 of his career-high 41 in the first quarter, hit a pair of clutch three-pointers in the fourth quarter. Jamison hit another three with 3:12 to go, as part of his 37 point total.

"They were difficult to contain," said Wizards guard Jerry Stackhouse. "It was just those two guys. They played a lot of pick-and-roll together and when you tried to help on one, the other was open. They beat us."

The Wizards (32-37) squandered a 14-point third quarter lead in losing their third straight. The Warriors used a 27-10 run over the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters to go ahead.

The teams exchanged leads through the fourth until Bob Sura, the only other Warrior to score in double figures, converted on a three-point play with 3:48 left to give Golden State (34-36) a three-point lead. Jamison hit a three with 3:11 remaining to increase the margin to six points.

The Wizards would get to within two in the final minute, but Adonal Foyle scored on a layup with 25.1 seconds to go and Earl Boykins hit a layup six seconds later to put the game away.

The loss dropped the Wizards 1 1/2 games behind idle Milwaukee for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot with 13 games to play, not to mention four more games on a six-game West Coast trip.

It also wasted a brilliant second quarter, in which the Wizards scored a season-high 37 points, as a part of a season-high 68-point first half. The team was unable to either sustain the offensive intensity or stop Golden State when it had to.

"You have to stay connected on the road to win," said Washington coach Doug Collins. "You're not going to come in here and score 120 points and beat the Warriors. We average 91 a game. We got seduced. ... We had this game in hand and didn't let our defense work for us. We tried to win it offensively."

Jordan, who verbally blasted his teammates after Friday night's 26-point loss at Phoenix, seemed to get caught up in the offensive show, going one-on-one with Golden State's Mike Dunleavy during parts of the fourth quarter. Jordan, who had a team-high 24 points, was scoreless in the final period.

"[His fourth-quarter play] was within the flow of what was happening," Jordan said. "I could understand if I was isolated and everyone was standing around watching. But I think the times that I did get scores, it was within the flow of what was happening. We just stopped doing that. ... That really starting things going downhill for us."

The loss also obscured the play of reserve center Jahidi White, who missed the first four months of the season rehabbing his left knee. White, in his best performance of the season, gave Washington a lift off the bench in the first half with 10 points and eight rebounds, but in the second half, he didn't score and had just one rebound.

"Everybody wants to make the playoffs badly," White said. "Every loss hurts. ... It's unfortunate that we don't have a lot of time, so we have to pull together, like yesterday."

Next for Wizards

Opponent:Portland Trail Blazers

Site:Rose Garden, Portland, Ore.

When:Tomorrow, 10 p.m.

TV/Radio:Ch. 50, CN8/WTNT (570 AM)

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