<
>

Artest scores 30, but Kings unable to overtake Wiz

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Washington Wizards are too concerned about
making the playoffs to be distracted by milestones.

Antawn Jamison had 31 points and eight rebounds and the
Washington Wizards beat the Sacramento Kings 117-107 Sunday to snap
a three-game losing streak. The victory was No. 100 with the
Wizards for coach Eddie Jordan, who became the 10th active NBA
coach to notch 100 victories with his current team.

"That's my 100th, too," said Gilbert Arenas, who scored 23
points for Washington. "We came here at the same time. Is that a
milestone? We didn't even know, but congratulations.

"Now we have to start on the next hundred."

Kings coach Rick Adelman, who replaced Jordan in Sacramento, is
another on the list of NBA coaches with 100 victories with his
current team.

Jordan was the Kings' head coach for the final 15 games of the
1996-97 season and throughout the 1997-98 campaign after serving
five years as an assistant. His head coaching record in Sacramento
was 33-64.

"He had a bad situation when he was in Sacramento," Adelman
said. "He didn't have a very good team. Since he's been here, he's
had his team playing well. They play together and they play hard.
He knows what he's doing."

Caron Butler scored 22 for the Wizards, who became only the
fifth opponent to score 100 points against the Kings since they
acquired Ron Artest, the 2003-04 NBA Defensive Player of the Year,
in January.

"What we wanted to do was get that losing streak snapped,"
Arenas said. "We've got a mission: we're trying to make the big
dance. It's going to be hard because (it seems) we're one game away
from everything -- out of it, in it. We just have to watch our Ps
and Qs and keep playing."

Artest led Sacramento with 30 points, five assists and three
blocks before fouling out with 1:14 remaining. Kevin Martin added
20 points for the Kings, who have won nine of their last 13 games.

"Our defensive intensity wasn't there," Artest said. "We
slacked a little bit."

Butler, who recently has been slowed by the flu and a sore
ankle, took an inadvertent elbow to the mouth from Brad Miller.

"The ref said he saw it and he apologized for not calling the
foul," Butler said. "That doesn't do anything for my body,
though. I still got hit. I can't win, but luckily we got the win
tonight and that made me feel much better. Hopefully, it won't
bother me tomorrow."

Butler added six rebounds, three assists and three steals in a
game-high 48 minutes.

"Caron was one of the few guys who got into it, as far as
intensity and defensively into Artest, getting into some passing
lanes, getting deflections and steals, and playing physically,"
Jordan said. "He took a challenge defensively first and it opened
up his offense. He was focused at both ends of the floor."

Reserve Antonio Daniels scored 12 points and rookie Donell
Taylor added 10 points and a career-high six assists off the bench
as the Wizards won for only the second time in their last eight
meetings with the Kings.

"Donell Taylor did a great job again," Jordan said.

Kenny Thomas pulled the Kings within 92-88 with 8:27 remaining
but that was as close as they got in the fourth quarter.

Jamison scored 10 points in the third, Arenas added nine, and
the Wizards led 86-77 after three.

Thomas scored four points in a 6-0 run that pulled the Kings
within 81-75 with 2:04 remaining in the third quarter. Arenas'
layup on a 3-on-1 break gave the Wizards a 70-53 lead with 8:48
left in the period.

Reserve Etan Thomas scored six of Washington's first eight
points of the second quarter as the Wizards opened a 13-point lead.

Jamison, who made six of his first eight shots, gave Washington
a 33-28 lead on a putback as the first-quarter horn sounded.

"Our starters got off to a great start, giving us some good
energy early, and it helped us sustain the lead throughout the
game," Daniels said.
^@Notes: Wizards guard Jared Jeffries left in the second quarter
with a sprained left calf and did not return. ... MCI Center, home
of the Washington Wizards, Mystics, Capitals and Georgetown Hoyas,
officially switched names to the Verizon Center on Sunday. ... The
Wizards have won 11 of their last 13 games at home.