- The Washington Times - Friday, December 22, 2006

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Antawn Jamison had 33 points and 13 rebounds, and Gilbert Arenas scored 30 points in the Washington Wizards’ fourth victory in five games, 126-119 over the spiraling Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

Caron Butler had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Washington, which overcame a halftime deficit with a spectacular 44-point third quarter. Jamison hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points - most with a defender squarely in his face - in the period, while the Wizards made 16 of their 22 shots in their latest astronomical scoring performance.

Kevin Martin scored a career-high 40 points for Sacramento, which cut a 17-point deficit to six with 8 minutes to play. But Jamison and Arenas scored 14 of Washington’s 19 points down the stretch, and the Kings lost for the ninth time in 11 games - including three straight home defeats - to drop four games below .500.

John Salmons matched his career high with 23 points while filling in for Ron Artest. The mercurial forward ruled himself out of the lineup moments before the game with sore knees on the same night Martin returned from a one-game absence with a sprained ankle.

Brad Miller had 19 points and nine rebounds for Sacramento, and Corliss Williamson added 17 points in a reserve role. Mike Bibby had another mediocre game, scoring 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

Washington outscored Sacramento 73-60 in the second half while playing a tight seven-man rotation. Highlighted by Arenas’ 60-point performance in an overtime win over the Lakers last weekend, the Wizards have scored at least 106 points in nine consecutive games, winning seven of those contests.

They might not be deep, but the Wizards can score: Arenas and Jamison hit five 3-pointers apiece, while Brendan Haywood had 12 points and a season-high 14 rebounds.

Jamison, who had several memorable games against Sacramento during his seasons with the Golden State Warriors, scored 11 straight points during one stretch while the Wizards took the lead in the third quarter. He hit three 3-pointers on four possessions at one point, frustrating the Kings’ earnest defensive effort.

Although Artest was at the arena before the game, he apparently didn’t feel strong enough to play. Artest, who missed four games earlier in the season with a sore back, didn’t sit near the Kings’ bench to watch the game, and a Kings spokesman didn’t know whether he stayed at the arena.

Notes: Wizards F Darius Songaila, who broke into the NBA with the

Kings, is inactive with a herniated disc in his back. … The Wizards finish up a four-game Western road trip in Phoenix on Friday night. … Led by former Sacramento coach Eddie Jordan, the Wizards snapped a nine-year losing streak at Arco Arena with a victory over the Kings last season.

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