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Blatche hits career high in first half to pick up Wizards

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Andray Blatche reached his career high at the first-half buzzer, holding both hands aloft long after he swished his baseline 3-pointer.

Gilbert Arenas, cheering in street clothes on the bench, must have been happy and jealous at the same time.

"I had to tell him, he ain't the only one who can do it," said Blatche, laughing through his attempt to sound pretentious. "I've been doing this since I was in high school."

Blatche achieved two notable feats Tuesday night. He compensated for Arenas' absence from the lineup by scoring 26 points, nearly doubling his previous NBA best, in the Washington Wizards' 116-101 rout of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Then, afterward, he plopped down in front of his locker and held court Arenas-style, boasting about his accomplishments as if he were channeling Agent Zero himself.

"I'm getting me a blog," said Blatche, referencing Arenas' popular offbeat Internet journal. "Y'all stay tuned. Coming to a town near y'all, I'm getting my blog. It's going to be: 'When keeping it real goes wrong.'"

Two lockers over, center Brendan Haywood couldn't believe his ears.

"Are you serious? Are you serious?" Haywood said. "Are y'all taping this? Man, he's poking y'all."

What is indeed serious is that the Wizards are streaking and the 76ers are slumping. Washington started 0-5 and is now 5-5, having discovered defense and team basketball even without Arenas, who missed his second straight game because of his sore and swollen left knee.

"The first couple of games we were doing a lot of one-on-one stuff, now we're sharing the ball," said DeShawn Stevenson, who broke out of a shooting slump with a season-high 19 points. "We've got a lot of confidence in ourselves."

Meanwhile, the 76ers have lost five of six and look totally askew. They trailed by 37 points after a 27-6 Wizards run in the third quarter and broke 100 only because the entire fourth quarter was garbage time.

"It's just the same old thing," forward Andre Iguodala said. "It's like mass confusion out there on the court early in the game for a few minutes. And then they just jumped out on us. I think the whole game we were just never really on the same page. They just played basic basketball and we were just awful."

Blatche's previous best over two-plus NBA seasons was 14 points, but he was at 16 after his 3 capped a 14-2 run and gave the Wizards a 60-44 lead at the half. He went 12-for-14 from the field, had eight rebounds and matched his career high with four assists.

"With Gilbert out, I wanted to come and bring some energy," Blatche said.

Stevenson, who entered the game shooting 29 percent, finished 7-for-11 from the field. He sank three 3-pointers, one fewer than he had previously made all season.

"The last couple of games I haven't been aggressive," Stevenson said. "Gilbert's been on me. My mother's been on me. So I just came out today and tried to be a little bit aggressive."

Who was harder on him? Arenas or his mother?

"Both of 'em," he said.

Antawn Jamison added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Wizards, who shot 57 percent and had 29 assists, both season highs.

Louis Williams scored 20 of his career-high 25 points in the second half for the 76ers.

"Our defense was horrendous," Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We got back on our heels again."

Game notes
Haywood sprained his left ankle in the third quarter and did not return. He said he was sore and uncertain whether he will play Wednesday night at Charlotte. ... Wizards coach Eddie Jordan announced less than an hour before tip that Arenas would sit, even though Arenas had three days of rest since he last played. Jordan said Arenas will continue to be a gametime decision for the foreseeable future. ... Philadelphia F Kyle Korver missed his second straight game with a strained groin.