NBA Game Summary - LA Lakers at Washington
(Monday, December 26th)
Final Score: Washington 94, LA Lakers 91
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Gilbert Arenas scored a game-high 34 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Washington Wizards over the Los Angeles Lakers, 94-91, at the MCI Center.
Caron Butler added 16 points and hit a key three-pointer late in the contest, as the Wizards rallied from an 16-point deficit to capture their third straight victory.
Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, but had only six in the final quarter, for the Lakers, who relinquished a 12-point lead late in the third and failed to recover in the fourth.
With Washington ahead 91-85, Bryant connected on his first points of the fourth quarter when he drained a three-pointer at the 2:04 mark to get within 91-88.
Butler answered with a trey of his own on Washington's next trip down the floor to restore the six-point lead.
Things were quiet for the next minute until Bryant drained another three- pointer to get the Lakers again within three points.
Antawn Jamison then missed a chance on the other end for Washington, giving the Lakers an opportunity at the tie. However, Lamar Odom's three-pointer fell short with 40 seconds left.
But after Arenas was called for traveling with 16 ticks on the clock, the Lakers had one more chance.
Coming out of a timeout the ball found its way into Bryant's hands, but the All-Star turned the ball over with five seconds left and Washington dribbled out the clock for the win.
"We had a screen and roll situation with me and Brian Cook and we just did not execute it right," said Bryant.
Los Angeles has dropped two in a row overall.
"It was a very frustrating loss," Bryant added. "We need to regroup and get back home and get back on the right track."
Jamison ended with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards, who avenged a loss at Los Angeles earlier this season. The Washington fans also welcomed back an old friend with a chores of boos.
Former first-overall pick Kwame Brown played in his first game in the Nation's Capitol since being acquired by the Lakers from the Wizards in the off-season in a trade that included Butler. Brown finished with just five points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes.
"It wasn't a big deal to me," said Brown. Nobody rattled me, everybody booed. They booed me when I was here so it wasn't a big deal."
The Lakers led 29-20 after one quarter and went ahead by as many as 16 points, 37-21, in the second before carrying a 52-43 advantage into halftime.
Los Angeles extended the advantage to 63-51 following a Brian Cook bucket with seven minutes left in the third. However, Washington answered with a 12-0 run to tie the game. Butler and Arenas each had six points during the burst, with Arenas capping it with a breakaway layup at the 3:17 mark to tie the game at 63-63.
Then, after the Lakers went ahead 66-63, the Wizards ended the third with nine straight points. Two free throws by Arenas with 54.9 left gave Washington its first lead of the game at 69-66, and the Wizards went into the fourth with a 71-66 edge.
"We've been on the road, so when you come back it's hard to get that home rhythm that you are used to," said Arenas. "It kicked in during the second half."
Chucky Atkins had 12 points for Washington...Smush Parker had 16 points and Chris Mihm had 11 for LA...Odom ended with only nine points...LA fell to 9-7 on the road...Washington improved to 7-4 at home...The Wizards have won three of the last four versus the Lakers.
12/26 23:39:28 ET