- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2006

NEW YORK — There are nights in the NBA when one team wins because the other doesn’t come to play.

That wasn’t the case last night at Madison Square Garden, though.

Dogged by sloppiness and disorganization away from Verizon Center, the Wizards — who set the franchise record with an 0-8 road start — washed away all of that ugliness last night, beating the New York Knicks 113-102.

The victory, their fourth in the last five games, was cathartic because, try as they might, the Wizards (8-10) had been unable to escape the cloud hanging over their heads that had been their inability to win a road game.

“It’s good to get that one because everybody was talking about it,” said Wizards reserve guard Antonio Daniels, who scored six points. “When I go home, my wife would say something about it. ‘Have y’all won on the road yet?’ Then the fingers start getting pointed. Who’s fault is it and so forth and so on. It was good to get out to a good start and sustain it.”

Playing with a frenetic energy that they had lacked away from Verizon Center, the Wizards, who made 48 percent of their field goals in the game, scored a season-high 66 points in the first half, making 24 of 42 shots.

And the Wizards tied a franchise record and matched the league season-high by making 14 of 20 3-point attempts (70 percent).

That was a dramatic departure from their performance here Nov. 15. On that night the Wizards shot 0-for-15 from behind the arc, tying the league record for most 3s attempted without a make.

Gilbert Arenas finished with a game-high 38 points — 24 of which came in the first half. Arenas was 13-for-24 from the floor, including a 6-for-9 performance from 3-point range.

Antawn Jamison found his groove as well, finishing with a season-high 33 points on 12-for-18 shooting. Jamison made six of eight 3-pointers.

“The Hibachi grill was on again tonight,” Arenas said. “I turned it on against Dallas, and we had it going tonight. Chicken and shrimp.”

Said a more sedate Jamison: “Tonight we did a great job of running our offense and not rushing things.”

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan agreed.

“It was a simple fact of basketball: We made shots,” Jordan said. “We said a long time ago your stars have to play well on the road. Antawn played well. He shot at a high percentage. Gil scored 38. Both of those guys carried the game for us, and that’s what your stars have to do.”

Eddy Curry paced New York (7-14) with 22 points.

The win marked the Wizards’ first regular-season road win since they ended the 2005-06 season with a 96-80 victory over Detroit on April 19.

Unlike other road games this season, the Wizards were aggressive from start to finish, as evidenced by their 113 points, the most they have tallied away from Verizon Center this season.

It didn’t even matter that the Knicks pulled down 20 offensive rebounds compared to the Wizards’ seven or that they outrebounded Washington 47-34 overall.

Although there were more than 16 minutes left in the game when Arenas squared up off the break and buried a 25-footer for a 92-71 lead, the crowd of 16,272 rained down boos on the home team.

The boos were even more audible late in the fourth quarter, shortly after Daniels’ layup gave the Wizards a 108-90 advantage.

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