Dave Johnson: Arenas Shines In Wizards Loss

Dave Johnson: Arenas Shines In Wizards Loss
November 6, 2010, 2:13 am
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Friday, November 5, 2010 10:13 p.m.

By Dave Johnson
New York---Gilbert Arenas returned and showed signs that he is back. Playing in his first game of the 20102011 season Arenas scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to give the Wizards a fighting chance, but were tripped up by turnovers in a 112-91 loss to the Knicks.When Arenas entered the game in the first quarter, he understandably looked rusty and out of rhythm after missing part of the pre-season with a groin injury and the start of the regular season with an ankle injury. By the fourth quarter Arenas flirted with taking the game over.To start the fourth, Arenas hit back-to-back three pointers to trim a 13-point Knicks lead to 7 at 86-79 with 10:39 remaining. Then midway through the quarter Arenas nailed a 27-footer and a step-back jumper from the elbow in succession to pull the Wizards within six points at 94-86 with 6:52 left in the game.The Knicks were able to pull away and keep the Wizards at a comfortable distance. In the game's final six minutes the Wizards committed five of their 25 turnovers. On the night the Knicks scored 29 points off those Wizards miscues.Reserve guard Toney Douglas, who had a career high 30 points against the Bulls Thursday night, led the Knicks with 19 points. Douglas also had a game-high 10 rebounds and was one of six Knicks players to convert a three-point field goal.Indeed Arenas was the only Wizards player to make a three pointer as they shot 4 of 18 beyond the arc as a team. By contrast the Knicks shot 12 of 29 from three-point distance or 41 percent. The Wizards had entered the game holding their three previous opponents to 29 percent shooting beyond the arc.It was another night of learning for John Wall. There was no "Dougie" dance for the Madison Square Garden crowd by Wall, but he still provided his share of thrills as he finished with 13 points and 7 assists. Unfortunately to go with his positive numbers, Wall again was saddled by a high turnover count. Wall committed ten turnovers. There were times when Wall would try to force something that wasn't there and there were times when he was too unselfish and instead of finishing a drive to the basket made a bad pass in an effort to set up a teammate.The Wizards started the game well with Andray Blatche taking charge. Blatche scored 14 of the Wizards first 18 points with a nice mix of drives and in-rhythm jumpers. Blatche did lead the Wizards with 22 points.For all the Wizards early offensive success, they could only build a four point lead in the first half with the Knicks keeping pace. The inability by the Wizards to get some early breathing room proved to be costly as the Knicks made six straight field goals in a stretch of the second quarter to go on a 16-2 run to take the lead for good.