Indiana (22-24) at Washington (27-19)

Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 77° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Mon Feb 7, 2005
  • TV: NBATV, CSMA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Although it seems Gilbert Arenas can do it all at times, the star guard knows how important it is for the rest of the Washington Wizards to get involved.

Following an unusually productive game from their big men, the Wizards will look for more of the same when they host the Indiana Pacers.

Arenas had a game-high 31 points Saturday as Washington ended a four-game losing streak with a 112-94 victory over Milwaukee.

Arenas also matched season highs with nine assists and six steals. He grabbed six rebounds and had one of the game’s two four-point plays, an NBA rarity.

However, the Wizards also got strong play from their centers as Etan Thomas scored a career-high 23 points and Brendan Haywood broke out of his recent scoring slump with 13 points.

“You can’t win a championship with just guard play,” Arenas said. “Michael Jordan did it, but that’s it.”

Haywood, Washington’s starting center, had averaged just 4.7 points over his previous four games. Thomas, meanwhile, is still working his way back from an abdominal injury that forced him to miss 32 games.

“I’m just trying to get my rhythm and find my place on the team,” Thomas said.

The Pacers have won two straight following a six-game losing streak.

Jermaine O’Neal scored 38 points as Indiana beat Atlanta 84-79 on Saturday.

“That’s what I’m expected to do,” O’Neal said. “Every night I’m not going to get the ball all the time, but when I’m going, then my team expects me to make shots and make big plays.”

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle is impressed with the recent play of guard Eddie Gill, who has scored a combined 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting over the last two games.

“The important thing for a pro player is not to worry about your numbers,” Carlisle said. “You’ve got to stay in the moment. And the thing I like about Eddie is he’s really proving that he’s a pro. He’s able to approach each situation in a singular way. When it was the right time to step into 3s, he stepped in and hit them.”

Anthony Johnson started his third straight game at point guard in place of Jamaal Tinsley, who has a bruised left foot. Tinsley’s status for Monday’s game is uncertain.

Indiana is 8-5 on the road against Eastern Conference opponents.

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