Washington (9-17) at Milwaukee (12-14)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 74° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Wed Dec 23, 2009
  • TV: CSMA, FSWI
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Washington coach Flip Saunders has wondered about his struggling team’s concentration on the court. He’s likely not talking about Gilbert Arenas(notes).

The star guard looks to lead the Wizards to a second straight victory when they open a three-game road trip Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Arenas scored 31 points to help Washington (9-17) rally for a 105-98 home win over Philadelphia on Tuesday. Arenas had 15 points in the first quarter, then scored 12 in the fourth after being held to four in the middle periods.

The victory was Washington’s second in three games after losing six in a row. It came after Saunders seemingly questioned the “concentration level from the guys” before Tuesday’s contest, three days after a 121-95 loss at Phoenix that he called “extremely disappointing and pretty much unacceptable.”

Arenas has not disappointed, averaging 22.4 points on the season and 32.8 on 47.8 percent shooting in his last four games.

“I feel a lot better than I did at the beginning of the season,” said Arenas, who missed all but two games in 2008-09 after three knee operations in 1 1/2 years. “The rhythm, the dribbling in the lane, just moving without the ball: It’s all coming back.”

He had 22 and nine assists in the Wizards’ 104-102 home win over Milwaukee on Dec. 2.

While Arenas is playing well, Washington likely needs captain Antawn Jamison(notes) to get back on track. Jamison is averaging 20.1 points, but has scored 32 total in his last three games after reaching at least 30 points in each of his three games prior to the rough stretch.

Jamison, who had seven points on 1-of-6 shooting against the 76ers, is averaging 20.4 points in 27 career games against the Bucks.

Though Washington won the last meeting between the teams, it’s 4-10 on the road and lost three in a row at Milwaukee, including two games in overtime.

No stranger to close games, Milwaukee (12-14) tries for a second straight victory after winning 84-81 at Indiana on Monday.

Andrew Bogut(notes) had a career-high 31 points with 18 rebounds and rookie Brandon Jennings(notes) scored 16 as the Bucks snapped a three-game losing streak by winning for the fourth time in 15 games.

Milwaukee is 2-8 in games decided by three points or less.

“We’ve had a lot of games like this that went down to the last minute and a half,” coach Scott Skiles told the Bucks’ official Web site. “It’s about making some big plays, making a big shot or getting a key stop.”

Plagued by injuries his first four seasons, the 7-foot Bogut is averaging a career-best 16.0 points with 10.0 rebounds in 20 games. Milwaukee is 6-1 when the former No. 1 overall draft pick scores 20 or more this season.

“I definitely need to be more of a leader within this franchise and have more nights like I did tonight,” Bogut said. “I’m not really thinking about the past couple seasons.”

What he should be thinking of is improving on his last effort against Washington earlier this month when he was held to eight points and seven boards. Bogut is averaging 13.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in 13 career games versus the Wizards.

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Wednesday, Dec 23