- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2006

Wizards Notes

The subplot heading into Game 4 was Washington Wizards coach Eddie Jordan and some of his players insisting LeBron James traveled when he scored the game-winner in the Cavaliers’ 97-96 victory in Game 3 on Friday.

“We did a lot of things to win the game,” Jordan said after Saturday’s practice. “And because a travel wasn’t called, you don’t win the game.”

Wizards guards Gilbert Arenas and Antonio Daniels expressed similar thoughts.

Before Game 4 last night, Cavaliers coach Mike Brown was asked what he thought of the comments.

“Eddie’s doing what he has to do,” Brown said. “I’m fine with that. I look at it as, the calls can go either way. You can go back and say, ‘What about this call? What about that call?’ ”

On one such call the other night, Brown thought James successfully drew a charge on Arenas but instead was called for a blocking foul.

Jordan apparently was doing more than complaining. It seemed he was attempting to sway the officials to be on the lookout for traveling.

“That’s part of what I think [Jordan] has to do,” Brown said.

Then Brown tried it a little bit himself.

“You talk about personal fouls,” he said. “We had 10 or 11 more fouls [nine, actually] called on us than on them [in the first three games].”

And then the Cavaliers were called for 13 more fouls than the Wizards last night.

Twister

Cleveland reserve guard Damon Jones wanted to clear the air about comments attributed to him describing Wizards center Brendan Haywood as a baby.

While Jones admitted he did call Haywood a baby after much was made about a hard foul he committed against James in Game 2, Jones said he felt his words were taken out of context.

“I did say he’s a baby, meaning that that is not his nature to foul like that,” Jones said. “He’s just doing what any coach would tell you to do in playoff basketball, which is to foul the guy going to the basket and foul him hard. That was the only thing that I said and now it’s like everybody is trying turn around what I said. I respect Brendan Haywood…. I would never say anything about anybody in this league like that.”

Heavy loads

No other playoff series features two players, one from each team, who are carrying such a heavy scoring load as LeBron James and Gilbert Arenas. Going into last night’s Game 4, they ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in playoff scoring.

The Cavaliers’ James the Wizards’ Arenas often seem as if they are playing a game of one-on-one, with everyone else just looking on. Averaging 33 points a game, James was responsible for scoring 35.6 percent of Cleveland’s points in the first three games. Arenas, at 30 points a game, was scoring 33 percent of the Wizards’ output.

It was more of the same in Game 4, although the trend took a decidedly different turn at the start, when James scored 18 points before Arenas got on the scoreboard. James outscored Arenas 25-6 in the half.

But Arenas outscored James 28-13 after halftime. James finished with 38 points and Arenas had 34. Arenas was asked if his second-half surge was in response to James having a huge first half.

“This is LeBron’s show, you know. Were all just witnesses,” he said.

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