- The Washington Times - Monday, March 26, 2007

Washington Wizards second-year forward Andray Blatche will have an MRI on his left knee today in Utah.

Blatche, starting in place of the injured Caron Butler on Saturday night, sprained his knee in the third quarter of Washington’s 111-105 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The loss dropped the Wizards’ record on their road trip to 1-3, but they still hold a half-game lead over Miami in the Southeast Division at 37-31.

On the play in which he was injured, the 6-foot-11 Blatche outleaped the Clippers’ Corey Maggette for a rebound but crumpled to the floor upon landing. Fouled on the play, Blatche attempted both free throws but then left the game.

Blatche has started 13 games for the Wizards this season. In those 13 starts Blatche has averaged 6.9 points and 5.8 rebounds and made 50.0 percent of his shots.

If Blatche is unable to start today in Utah, either Darius Songaila or Jarvis Hayes likely will get the start.

Meanwhile, Butler, an All-Star, is expected to be available to the team when it plays host to Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Arenas reprimanded

The NBA didn’t have a problem when Gilbert Arenas blogged that he would score 50 points in a game against Portland.

However, the image-conscious league did not look the other way when Arenas blogged that he was making $10 bets with fans in Portland on Tuesday.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the NBA reprimanded Arenas yesterday for his actions.

“We spoke to Gilbert and explained the issue to him,” NBA spokesman John Acunto told the AP. “And he assured us he wouldn’t do anything like this again.”

Arenas made the bets as he bantered with fans throughout the Wizards’ 100-98 loss. He was booed during pregame introductions and whenever he touched the ball.

After the game, Arenas said he bet a fan $10 that he would make the game-winning basket. He missed badly — throwing up a shot that fell short of the rim — and finished with only 19 points.

“I owe somebody 10 bucks,” Arenas said. “I bet a fan if I had a chance I would make the last shot.”

Arenas later elaborated on his nba.com blog, saying he made $10 bets with two fans during the game and had obtained their e-mail addresses so he could pay them off. The NBA has since removed the references to the bets from the blog.

Arenas was not available for comment yesterday, a day off for the Wizards.

Third-quarter woes continue

The Wizards’ record on this road trip (and their lead on Miami in the standings) would be larger if they could just turn in respectable third quarters.

In their 135-128 loss at Golden State on Friday the Wizards gave up 38 points in the third quarter and 71 in the second half.

The Wizards were ineffective in the third quarter Saturday as well, getting outscored 32-22.

“We played hard, but we needed to come out stronger in the third period,” Arenas said. “That third period is killing us. [Saturday] we got beat in the third period, and [Friday] we got beat in the third period.”

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