In Washington, even a career-high 47 points from Gilbert Arenas couldn't prevent the same old result. For the 14th time in a row, the Miami Heat beat the Washington Wizards.
Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal made their usual contributions to the 128-113 victory last night, but a new face in the one-sided rivalry made his presence known. Antoine Walker, who has been trying to find his niche in the Heat rotation, had 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists off the bench and exclaimed ''I'm back!" after hitting a 3-pointer.
''I'm just trying to be as productive as possible," said Walker, the former Celtic who was acquired in a 13-player trade in August and entered the game averaging a career-low 12.1 points. ''Every game is going to be different. It's very hard for me to say how it's going to work out or how it's going to go. We're only 30 games into the season and without a lot of practice time, it's hard for Coach to just completely change things."
Wade scored 34 points and made 18 of 21 free throws, and O'Neal had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 55 percent and pulled away in the fourth quarter for their highest-scoring output of the season. Stopping those two is tough enough, but Walker's big game meant the team could always find someone with a hot hand.
''He was feeling real free, and we need that from him," coach Pat Riley said. ''That's what we expected when we traded for him, is that we'd have that versatility. Having a great game from Antoine really helps."
Arenas made 15 of 29 field goals and 13 of 14 free throws and carried his team through three quarters, but he went 1 for 6 in the fourth as part of a team-wide 5-for-22 slump.
Nets 99, Hawks 91 -- Vince Carter scored 37 points and reserve guard Jacque Vaughn had 6 late in the fourth quarter as New Jersey beat Atlanta in East Rutherford, N.J., for its eighth straight victory.
Richard Jefferson had 21 points, including 11 of 13 from the free throw line for the Nets, whose streak is the fourth longest in franchise history and six short of the record set in 2003-04. Jason Kidd scored 21 points and had nine assists.
Bucks 113, Knicks 108 -- Mo Williams -- starting at point guard while T.J. Ford misses two weeks with a sprained foot -- scored 30 points and Michael Redd added 22 to lead host Milwaukee over struggling New York.
The Knicks dropped to 7-21 -- matching their worst start since 1986-87 -- and fell into last place in the Atlantic Division.
Warriors 111, Mavericks 109 -- Baron Davis scored a season-high 34 points, including the go-ahead basket with .5 seconds left, to lift visiting Golden State past Dallas.
Magic 107, Timberwolves 87 -- Jameer Nelson scored a season-high 25 points to lead host Orlando over Minnesota.
Raptors 99, Pacers 97 -- Mike James scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead visiting Toronto over Indiana.
Suns 110, Bobcats 100 -- Eddie House scored 12 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead visiting Phoenix over Charlotte.
Grizzlies 93, Trail Blazers 90 -- Mike Miller had 23 points off the bench to lead Memphis past host Portland.