Washington (7-15) at New York (8-16)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Las Vegas, NV
Temp: 96° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Sun Dec 14, 2003
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He still has a lot of work to do, but Antonio McDyess is slowly becoming the player he once was.

Coming off his first start of the season and his best offensive game, McDyess leads the New York Knicks against the visiting Washington Wizards.

McDyess scored a season-high 15 points Saturday to lead the Knicks past the Denver Nuggets 95-88, snapping New York’s six-game losing streak.

“Especially against the Nuggets it’s a little sweeter,” said McDyess, who spent six season in Denver. “I wouldn’t have thought so, but getting a win against them, it’s real good. A win period is even greater.”

McDyess made his first start since March 2002, replacing Kurt Thomas (sore knee) on New York’s front line.

Playing a season-high 31 minutes in his seventh game since coming back from a knee injury, McDyess scored seven points in the final four minutes. He also had five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Though he is well below his career scoring average of 17.5 points, McDyess is now up to 8.7 per game, while shooting 43.6 percent from the floor.

The Knicks got even more good news Saturday as leading scorer Allan Houston scored 15 points in his return from a sore right knee that had sidelined him three games.

Thomas has tendinitis and swelling in his left knee. He considered himself day-to-day.

Losers of three straight and seven of eight, the Wizards haven’t had much to be happy about this season.

Gilbert Arenas returned Thursday following a seven-game absence due to a severe abdominal strain to score nine points in 24 minutes as the Wizards fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 110-91.

“It was a little sore out there, especially once I sat down,” Arenas said. “I couldn’t do everything that I wanted to do but at least I got to see where I was health-wise and the way my mobility was.”

Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said it may take several games before Arenas resembles the player of old.

“He’s trying,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “He’s not nearly where he was before he got hurt, and even if you’re healthy, it’s hard to come back and get into a rhythm.”

Larry Hughes led Washington with 16 points, while Christian Laettner had 14 and reserves Steve Blake and Juan Dixon combined for 20.

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