NBA: Bobcats lose to Wizards

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 9, 2006

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Leave it to Gilbert Arenas to come up with yet another way to stand out from the crowd: Before launching a shot these days, he’ll make a reference to a small cooking stove usually heated by charcoal.

That’s right: Arenas yells, “Hibachi!” then lets the ball fly. After letting his teammates get going Friday night, Arenas started shouting and shooting, and he wound up with 33 points and 10 assists to lead the Washington Wizards past the Charlotte Bobcats 121-109.

“He says it every time he shoots. Everybody hears it — whenever Gilbert talks, everybody hears,” said Caron Butler, who added 24 points for Washington. “He really was screaming it this morning in the shootaround, so ‘hibachi’ it is. He’s on fire, so ‘hibachi.”‘

Antawn Jamison added 22 points and, for the first game this season, every Wizards starter scored in double figures. They improved to 6-2 at home; they’re 0-7 on the road.

“Everybody was sharing the ball and everyone was making shots. We feel good about ourselves,” said Arenas, who compiled six assists before he made a field goal. “That’s how we look when we’re good.

“You know, a hibachi grill gets real hot. That’s what my shot’s like, so I’ve been calling it that: ‘Welcome to the hibachi,”‘ Arenas said.

He had plenty of help Friday the other members of Washington’s so-called Big Three, the formula the club counted on last season.

“They’re very tough, especially when Gilbert is going, and then you’ve got a guy like Caron, who can always hurt you. And there’s the guy who’s been doing it for years, Antawn,” Charlotte’s Adam Morrison said. “They’ve got such a good perimeter game that it makes it tough all the way around.”

Morrison scored 23 points on the day he was honored as Eastern Conference rookie of the month, and Brevin Knight added 22 points and nine assists.

“I love the kid,” Arenas said about Morrison. “He’s an old Larry Bird throwback, from the hair, the way he walks.”

Charlotte came in tied for 27th in the league with a 92.1-point team scoring average.

But the Bobcats set season highs for points in a half (63 in the first) and game. Here’s another indication of what the offense was like: Nine of the game’s 10 starters reached double figures in points; Charlotte’s Primoz Brezec only scored eight in 15 minutes, but even he was 3-for-3 from the field.