7:30 PM ET, March 27, 2006
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Most of Golden State's fans finally have forgiven Gilbert Arenas for leaving them.
They probably wish Arenas and Antawn Jamison would lay off the Warriors they left behind, though.
Arenas scored 40 points and Jamison added 31 as they beat their old team with a sensational two-man show, leading the Washington Wizards to a 116-98 victory over Golden State on Monday night.
Washington's high-scoring duo always has particular motivation for this stop, even though their departures freed them from one of the NBA's most inept franchises of the last 15 years.
Jamison and Arenas were favorites in Oakland during their years with the perennially losing club, but both left Golden State in the summer of 2003 -- Jamison in a trade with Dallas, and Arenas for a $65 million free-agent deal with Washington.
"The first time I came back, I was nervous, and the nerves kicked in, and they saw it on the court," Arenas said, recalling the Wizards' loss in the Bay Area two seasons ago. "The first year, they booed every time I touched the ball. I was thinking they were going to lose their voices booing so much. Now, they don't boo."
Arenas hit seven 3-pointers and had 10 assists in his ninth 40-point game of the season, while Jamison added 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who have won two of the first three games on their longest trip of the season.
Washington built a 19-point lead in the third quarter, then blew most of it in the fourth, but Arenas scored 28 points in the second half as Washington hung on at the arena where he and Jamison started their NBA careers.
"When we first left, I think the most important thing was to come back and play well, like, 'You should have kept me around,' or 'You should have re-signed me,' " Jamison said. "After that, it's just a point where you want to win, and we were fortunate enough to get the win, but also play pretty good games individually."
Arenas scored 13 points in the third quarter, most on the effortless shots that Golden State fans knew well during his first two NBA seasons. Jamison added nine in the fourth, but Golden State trimmed the lead to 96-92 on rookie Monta Ellis' reverse layup with 5:10 left.
But Arenas hit a 3-pointer on Washington's next possession, and the Wizards held Golden State to one field goal in the next 4 minutes.
"You definitely want to beat guys that you played with, just from a bragging standpoint, so that's why it's tough to deal with," said Troy Murphy, who had six points and 16 rebounds. "[Arenas] is capable every single night of that. He was a beast when he was here. He works hard, he works at it, and he's become a great player."
With Indiana's loss at Miami earlier Monday, the Wizards moved one game ahead of the Pacers for fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Jason Richardson scored 18 points for the Warriors, who were mostly lifeless until the fourth quarter. One night earlier, they snapped the Sacramento Kings' 14-game home winning streak -- and Washington visits Arco Arena on Tuesday for the next stop on their six-game trip.
The Warriors struggled for energy in just their third loss in eight games, but 8-for-21 free-throw shooting certainly didn't help.
Richardson, chosen along with Murphy and Arenas in Golden State's sensational 2001 draft class, knew he or Arenas would have to leave eventually. He still misses his former teammate.
"He's a superstar. He's their franchise player," Richardson said. "You can't expect anything less. ... We're a little fatigued, but little things like free throws, we can't have that."
Baron Davis sat out his sixth straight game for Golden State with a sprained ankle, but the Warriors had six players scoring in double figures. Ellis matched his career high with 16 points, and Derek Fisher also had 16.
Ellis and teenager Andris Biedrins played much of the second half for Golden State, helping to lead the Warriors' comeback.
Wizards coach Eddie Jordan bumped C Brendan Haywood from the starting lineup in favor of Etan Thomas, who had four points in 17 minutes. Haywood played just six minutes. ... Before the game, the Warriors signed G Will Bynum to a second 10-day contract. The former Georgia Tech star led the D-League in scoring before his callup March 17. ... Jamison had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds for the 28th time this season.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||42-87 (.483)||39-86 (.453)|
|3PM-3PA||12-26 (.462)||12-28 (.429)|
|FTM-FTA||20-24 (.833)||8-21 (.381)|
|Fast Break Points||26||12|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||23 (0/0)|