- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 12, 2005

As he stood in front of his team’s bench before the second half of last night’s game against the Seattle SuperSonics, Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison looked over to the scorers’ table and said, “I don’t even want to have to play in the fourth quarter.”

Jamison got his wish last night against the formerly imposing Sonics as the Wizards finished with an MCI Center scoring record in a 137-96 victory in front of 20,173. The victory was the team’s sixth largest in franchise history, and it was the most points the team has scored since the Bullets scored 142 against Boston on April 17, 1994, at Capital Centre.

“Last year we’d put together a good first half and then not stay focused on what we needed to do to get a win,” Jamison said. “Those are the things that last year cost us games. We knew this team wasn’t going to come and lay down. The good thing is we have a tough one tomorrow, and we wanted to have our legs fresh for it.”

Jamison was looking ahead to tonight’s game against the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs (5-1), who last night walloped Boston on the road 103-82 to extend their winning streak against the Celtics to 16 games.

But after dropping a game to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, the Wizards (4-1) also were savoring their latest victory.

Last night’s game was lopsided in every way, from the 41-point margin of victory to the 62-point effort from Washington’s bench. Seven players finished in double figures, and the Wizards’ 58.5 percent field goal shooting was by far their best of the season.

“It’s one game against a team that is a little bit down on the road from the west,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said with a tone of caution. “We have to take everything in perspective. It was just one of those games in the NBA where things are going terrific for you. Is it a measure of who we are? Not necessarily. But it certainly was a total team effort, from [player] 1 to 12.”

Jordan, who had been engaging some courtside fans in conversation, actually acknowledged to one fan in the fourth quarter that he would be checking in rookie Andray Blatche, who was shot in the chest a little more than six weeks ago. And with 7:27 left in the game, Blatche, taken with the 49th pick in the draft, got in for his debut.

Blatche had five points and two rebounds in a little more than seven minutes.

Gilbert Arenas bounced back from a shaky 5-for-21, 18-point effort Wednesday against the Clippers to lead all scorers with 32 on 11-for-16 shooting.

Caron Butler put together another strong game, finishing with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists. Two nights earlier he scored 19.

Jamison, who played 27 minutes — four fewer than Arenas, who logged a team high — finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Awvee Storey, who demonstrated he knew how to play at this level in the preseason, finished with 13 points in 14 minutes.

Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen finished with 17 apiece to lead the Sonics (1-4).

The Wizards erupted for 71 points in the first half, falling one point shy of matching the MCI Center record established in the first half of a 126-101 victory over Milwaukee on Feb. 2, 2000.

The Wizards scored 42 points in the second quarter. Along the way they connected on 14 of 24 field goals (58.3 percent). That enabled them to turn what was a four-point lead to 20 with 6:21 left on a beautiful play that combined a returning player and a new one, Jamison and Butler.

The play began with Jamison recording a steal, then beginning the fast break with a pass to Butler, who had gotten out in front of him. Butler barely missed a beat and flicked the ball back to Jamison, whose layup gave the Wizards a comfortable lead at 53-33.

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