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News » Good news despite loss


Good news despite loss


Good news despite loss
At this point, the Washington Wizards will take good news wherever they can find it.

Their highlight Sunday was that Gilbert Arenas woke up feeling no unusual pain from his return to action Saturday. The bad - and more typical news - was that they lost to the Indiana Pacers 124-115 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

It was the seventh loss in the past eight games for Washington. Unlike its past three games, each of which were decided by two points, this one got away in the third quarter, when the Pacers opened a 15-point lead.

After scoring 15 points in his debut Saturday against Detroit, Arenas sat out Sunday's game as planned. The team expects him to sit out Wednesday's game at Memphis and play in Thursday's home game against Cleveland.

"It's game by game," said Arenas, who warmed up with the team before the second half just for the exercise. "We'll see how it feels when I get [to Thursday]. It's up to the training staff. ... The body hurt, but the knee was fine The body felt like I had been through a war. I hadn't pushed my body like that for a year."

Without Arenas, who had 10 assists against the Pistons, the Wizards essentially used just seven players, and their offense struggled to find a rhythm. They finished with just 10 assists on 36 field goals, getting half of them in the fourth quarter. Not coincidentally, they scored 39 points in that period to slice Indiana's 22-point lead to nine on several occasions.

They couldn't get enough stops to complete the comeback, though.

"I've seen a lot of things this year; nothing surprises me," said Antawn Jamison, who scored 29 points. "That's what we've been dealing with. The ball doesn't move that much, and guys have been trying to do it on their own, and that's the reason we're at where we're at."

Caron Butler led the Wizards with 31 points. Like Jamison, he scored 12 of his points in the final quarter.

Indiana's lead peaked at 22 with 8:25 left, but Butler and Jamison kept churning. The margin was down to 10 after Butler's 3-pointer with 4:12 left, and the Wizards got the ball back with a chance to get closer. But Butler's next 3-point attempt was off the mark, and the Pacers replied with a dunk from Brandon Rush.

Jamison's two foul shots with 3:11 remaining got Washington back within 10, but Rush got another dunk after three Indiana misses to return the lead to 12.

Three more times, the Wizards got within nine but couldn't come up with a defensive stop.

"That was the story all game," Jamison said. "Whether it's not doing the proper rotations or an offensive rebound here or there or just not knocking down shots... it was difficult"

Javaris Crittenton, Washington's only healthy point guard, had a season-high 19 points in a career-high 43 minutes, but he had just three assists.

"We turned the intensity up and tried to get back in the game, but we didn't have enough firepower," he said. "We seem to do the same thing every game. ... We don't come out with the same intensity level in the third quarter, and then we have to fight back in the fourth"

Danny Granger led Indiana with 31 points. Rush matched his career high with 29.

Washington's Andray Blatche finished with 12 points, his seventh straight game in double figures.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 30, 2009

 

 
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