WASHINGTON – Gilbert Arenas and the Washington Wizards finally gave their home fans something to cheer about.

Showing more spring in his step and more accuracy with his shot, Arenas scored 20 of his 30 points in the first half and finished with 11 assists and six rebounds, leading Washington past the Indiana Pacers 103-90 Wednesday night.

Caron Butler scored 25 points, and Brendan Haywood had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Wizards. Reserve Marquis Daniels led the Pacers with 19 points. The teams are heading in opposite directions, with the Wizards going 2-0 after an 0-5 start, and the Pacers going 0-5 after a 3-0 start.

Arenas has been struggling since he returned from left knee surgery, and entered the game making only 35.6 percent of his field-goal attempts. But he hit at a 50-percent clip Wednesday, going 9-for-18, on a mix of darts to the basket and jumpers.

AP-ES-11-14-07 2130EST


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