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Wizards Starting to Come Alive, Defeat Pacers, 103-90

Washington, DC–

It appears that the Wizards and Gilbert Arenas have gotten their swagger back as tonight they showed the talent that got them to the playoffs last season with a 103-90 victory over the Indiana Pacers tonight at Verizon Center.

The Wizards were led by a rejuvenated Gilbert Arena’s 30 points who said he felt a little better about handling the ball then he has over the past few games where he was taking it easy to rest his knee.

“I was coming to games cold turkey, wasn’t even getting the ball up, just banking off my natural ability, and I was struggling,” Arenas said. “My handle wasn’t as crisp.”

So how did Arenas solve the cold turkey problem? He went hot with 100 three pointers before the game… solution seemed to work.

What also worked for the Wizards was the all around play of Caron Bulter, who finished the game with 25 points.

Brendan Haywood continued with another strong game and proving that he has finally come into his own with 16 points and 11 rebounds. This is what the Wizards need night after night if they hope to win more games with an inside presence.

The most positive notes on the scorers sheet tonight for the Wizards were their high percentages in all categories. The Wizards shot a season-high 48.6 percent, held the Pacers (3-5) to 39.3 percent shooting and received contributions from several sources.

Wizards Coach Eddie Jordan seemed to see his guys do the right thing more than once tonight and he liked the direction the team is taking and his altered line-up with Nick Young and Dominic McGuire staying on the bench seemed to help.

“It’s going to be something we have to do to keep our best players on the floor,” Jordan said. “If we were 10 games over .500, maybe we could keep Caron at forward and play the young guys at guard, but we don’t have that luxury. . . . We have that sense of urgency of keeping our best players on the floor and maxing out those times.”

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