Wizards 116, Clippers 105


WASHINGTON (AP) – Gilbert Arenas got the party started early.

Arenas scored 29 of his 35 points in the first half and added a season-high 12 assists Friday night, leading the Washington Wizards past the Los Angeles Clippers 116-105 and drawing “M-V-P!” chants from the sellout crowd.

Then he headed to his star-studded birthday celebration.

Arenas scored 13 points in the first quarter, 16 in the second on 7-for-8 shooting, but was only 3-for-10 the rest of the way. He also had seven rebounds as the Wizards won for the seventh time in eight games.

Caron Butler had 27 points – his fifth consecutive game with at least 20 – six assists and five rebounds for Washington, which is 13-3 at home. Antawn Jamison added 19 points, and Brendan Haywood contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds to help the Wizards put up the highest offensive total allowed by Los Angeles this season.

Elton Brand had 29 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, now 3-12 on the road.

AP-ES-01-05-07 2129EST