Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 11/12

Game 1: Saturday, November 12th
Spurs95Final
Wizards110
Game 2: Saturday, April 1st
Wizards99Final
Spurs106

Spurs 95

(5-2, 3-2 away)

Wizards 110

(5-1, 3-1 home)

Coverage: KRRT

7:00 PM ET, November 12, 2005

Verizon Center, Washington, DC

1 2 3 4 T
SA 27 26 25 1795
WSH 24 28 33 25110

Top Performers

SA: M. Ginobili 28 Pts, 3 Reb, 3 Ast

WSH: G. Arenas 43 Pts, 1 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

Arenas, Wizards pull away in fourth quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Everything was going in for Gilbert Arenas on a 43-point night, right down to a 30-foot heave off the glass at the third-quarter buzzer.

And nothing was going in for Tim Duncan on a 3-for-18 night, right down to putbacks with the ball near the rim.

In a game the hosts insisted might as well have been against any ol' team -- rather than a meaningful, show-how-good-we-are matchup against the reigning NBA champions -- Arenas spurred his Washington Wizards to pull away late in the third quarter and beat Duncan's San Antonio Spurs 110-95 on Saturday night.

With an impressive variety of moves, from mid-range jumpers to stutter-step slices through the lane, Arenas made 11 of his first 12 shots and finished 15-for-20, ending up one point shy of his career high.

"When he gets going, he gets that swagger," said Washington's other All-Star, Antawn Jamison, who added 19 points and eight rebounds. "The guy's unbelievable. I think he still doesn't get the recognition he deserves. He knows the more this team wins, the more recognition he gets."

After last season's breakthrough playoff trip, Arenas now has steered the Wizards to their first 5-1 start since 1989-90. He's scored at least 30 points in half of the season's games, reaching that figure by the third quarter both Saturday and in Friday's 41-point home victory over Seattle.

"He just attacked and attacked," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said, "and it was sweet music."

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich acknowledged, "We tried everybody on him -- and he was great."

The Wizards tried nearly everybody on Duncan, it seemed, and he was far from great, missing 15 straight shots. Jordan said before the game he wouldn't double-team Duncan unless it became necessary, and he was true to his word.

Jared Jeffries, Brendan Haywood, Michael Ruffin and Etan Thomas took turns guarding Duncan, and the Wizards' front-court players did a good job of fronting the three-time NBA Finals MVP in the low post.

He took only one shot in the second quarter -- and missed it.

"It was just a long night. Things happen, the season happens. Those guys played well tonight; give them credit," Duncan said. "We compounded them playing well with myself playing very, very badly."

He connected on his first two attempts from the floor and then could not figure out a way to get the ball in the basket until a tip-in with just under six minutes left in the game. Duncan wound up 3-for-18 for 11 points and had 14 rebounds, barely keeping intact his run of a double-double in every game this season.

"I saw him miss a lot of easy shots," Haywood said.

When Duncan missed two straight putbacks early in the fourth quarter, he punched the air. He then quickly committed a foul at the other end and was replaced. Duncan put his head down during a slow shuffle to the sideline, ignored teammates' offers of hand slaps, pulled out his jersey and slumped into his chair.

"Timmy didn't have his best night," Popovich said, "but that's going to happen now and then."

Especially, perhaps, on the second half of a back-to-back set at the end of a five-game road trip, during which the Spurs (5-2) won three straight before Saturday.

"It's early. They've been on an East Coast trip," Jordan said. "I don't want to measure our team as far as predicting how good we are or will be."

Manu Ginobili scored 28 points and Tony Parker added 23, keeping the Spurs in the game until late in the third quarter. Washington reserve Caron Butler scored 15 -- with six straight to help pull away early in the fourth.

Parker's pull-up jumper with 4:10 left in the third period gave San Antonio its last lead, at 74-73. The Wizards closed the quarter with a 12-4 run, capped by Arenas' long 3-pointer on the fly, a shot that was checked by the officials on TV replay to make sure it should count.

Sometimes, Arenas said, "you can't be stopped and you don't think you can be stopped. That's how I felt tonight."

Game notes


The Wizards entered the game leading the NBA in opponent's field-goal percentage, at 39 percent. The Spurs made 41 percent from the field. ... Spurs guard Michael Finley missed his third straight game with a groin injury. Finley and Brent Barry (low back sprain) could return Tuesday against Atlanta.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SA
WSH
Points 95 110
FGM-FGA 34-83 (.410) 43-78 (.551)
3PM-3PA 8-14 (.571) 7-14 (.500)
FTM-FTA 19-22 (.864) 17-25 (.680)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-39 7-40
Assists 14 21
Turnovers 15 13
Steals 6 9
Blocks 1 3
Fast Break Points 15 26
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 18 (1/0)
Largest Lead 5 18

Top Performers

San Antonio
Washington
Manu Ginobili Ginobili
Points: 28
Reb: 3
Ast: 3
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Gilbert Arenas Arenas
Points: 43
Reb: 1
Ast: 6
Stl: 1
Blk: 0