CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A reporter bent over to pick up a box score in Washington's quiet locker room and Gilbert Arenas tried to stop him.
"I don't think you want to look at that," Arenas said.
Gerald Wallace had 34 points and 14 rebounds, and the Charlotte Bobcats beat Washington 122-102 on Tuesday night, a loss that knocked Wizards into second place in the Southeast Division, a half-game behind Miami.
Walter Herrmann added 21 points, Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Raymond Felton had 17 points and 14 assists for the Bobcats, who shot 57 percent and were never threatened in the second half.
"They seemed like they were the team fighting for playoff position and we were the team that was going home in the next nine or 10 days," Wizards forward Antawn Jamison said.
Arenas scored 33 points, but got little help as the Wizards lost for the fifth time in seven games -- their first without Butler.
The All-Star, averaging a career-high 19.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, broke his right hand in Sunday's win over Milwaukee. Barring a deep run in the playoffs, Butler is done for the season.
The way the Wizards looked against the Bobcats, that appears unlikely.
"We miss Caron a lot. He's a guy that can guard guys like Gerald Wallace," Wizards guard DeShawn Stevenson said. "He's an All-Star. But some of the guys on this team will have to step up and become that nasty guy."
None did against the Bobcats. Arenas was Washington's lone option on offense -- he scored 30 or more points for the NBA-high 35th time -- and the Wizards played little defense.
Wallace couldn't be stopped on drives to the basket, Okafor dominated the inside and Herrmann was hitting open jumpers when he wasn't getting easy layups off back cuts.
"All around on the offensive end I think that's as good a game as we've had, as far as sharing the ball, running the pick-and-roll, the bigs running hard and the guys getting open," Wallace said.
Wallace shot 16-for-24 in his ninth game of 30 or more points. Herrmann, who barely played in the first four months of the season, had his third straight game of 20-plus points.
"They took it to us. We never had an answer for Wallace," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "Even when we double teamed, guys got open on the perimeter."
Herrmann's 3-pointer completed a 13-2 second-quarter run that gave Charlotte a 57-41 lead. The Bobcats led 63-45 at halftime and the Wizards couldn't make a significant run in the second half because nearly every Bobcats player who took it to the basket met little resistance.
Charlotte committed only nine turnovers and had 64 points in the paint to win for the third time in four games. Charlotte won its 29th game and improved to 19-19 at home.
"Our points were coming on second or third pass. That's basically what we wanted to do," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "Gerald (Wallace) -- what can you say about that guy? He's amazing."
Jarvis Hayes, starting in place of Butler, didn't get his first basket until less than four minutes remained in the third quarter. Hayes had two points and five rebounds on 1-for-6 shooting.
Jamison also struggled, held to six points and 11 rebounds on 3-of-16 shooting.
Etan Thomas, starting at center for the second straight game ahead of Brendan Haywood, had a season-high 17 points and 14 rebounds. DeShawn Stevenson scored 17 points and Darius Songaila added 16 for the Wizards, who dropped to 9-2 all-time against Charlotte.
- Jordan said he would likely stick with Hayes in the starting lineup when the same teams meet again Wednesday in Washington.
- Haywood was held to one point and two rebounds in 10 minutes in his second game out of the starting lineup.
- Bobcats G Derek Anderson did not play due to continued pain in his right knee, but said he'll return Friday.
- Wallace was credited with a basket in the second quarter when Adam Morrison's lob pass bounced off the backboard, clanged off Songaila's left shoulder, hit the backboard again, and fell in.