MIAMI -- Caron Butler's NCAA tournament bracket took a hit on the same day his game looked better than it had in a while.
Butler eclipsed the 20-point mark for the first time in five games since returning from a strained hip flexor that kept him out of the previous 16 games.
"I was just trying to assert myself early and try to establish a rhythm because when you are playing games like this, you want to put teams away," Butler said. "Once you give them a little bit of life you saw what happened to UConn earlier today, those things happen."
The Connecticut Huskies, Butler's alma mater, were upset by San Diego in the NCAA tournament earlier Friday, but Butler vowed not to let his Wizards get upset.
"I'm pretty sure it messed up your brackets. It messed up mine," Butler said. "But seriously, you have to put teams away early that you are supposed to beat and I think we did a good job of that."
The Wizards led the entire way against the league's worst team and took a 52-39 lead into halftime. They blew the game open in the third quarter, leading by as many as 25 points after Jamison scored eight consecutive points in a key stretch.
"We found a groove at both ends of the floor and made some terrific plays," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.
Jordan implemented a curfew for his players, who arrived in South Florida on Wednesday night, to help them stay focused on a team that has struggled throughout the season.
"They are fighting for jobs, they are trying to show people they belong on this level so you know they are going to play hard," Jamison said.
Bobby Jones scored 15 points for the Heat, who have lost 10 of their last 11 games and 37 of their last 41.
"Individually, I thought I played good," said Jones, whose 10-day contract expired after the game; the Heat did not re-sign him. "You know, we were down by like 26 points, but at the end of the day it's all about making plays and I thought I contributed."
With the victory, the Wizards sat two games over .500 (35-33) for the first time since Feb. 3. They can improve their standing in the Eastern Conference when they host the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
"It's like playing 18 holes, you hit a few great shots and say, 'How can I bottle this up?'" Jordan said. "You just can't. If we can stay professional and keep our energy up, then we can get things done."
Before the game, the Heat announced forward Udonis Haslem would miss the remainder of the season after having ankle surgery to remove a bone spur. Miami had already lost All-Star guard Dwyane Wade, forward Dorell Wright and center Alonzo Mourning for the season, all with various knee injuries.
|Keeping up with Washington's Caron Butler is a futile pursuit for Miami on this night. (AP)|
|Washington (35-33) «||26||26||35||16||103|
|WAS:C. Butler 25 Pts
WAS:A. Jamison 10 Reb
WAS:A. Daniels 7 Ast
|MIA:B. Jones 15 Pts
MIA:E. Barron 6 Reb
MIA:J. Williams 7 Ast
|Players of the Game|
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|C. Butler, SF||33||9-12||4-4||2||6||2||25|
|D. Stevenson, SG||32||3-9||0-0||3||5||0||7|
|A. Daniels, PG||30||3-5||3-4||5||7||2||9|
|A. Jamison, PF||30||9-14||1-5||10||0||0||22|
|B. Haywood, C||18||4-8||0-1||4||1||1||8|
|R. Mason, SG||24||4-9||0-0||3||1||1||11|
|D. Songaila, PF||22||3-8||0-0||4||4||3||6|
|A. Blatche, SF||22||3-4||1-2||1||1||4||7|
|D. McGuire, PF||19||1-3||0-2||5||0||4||2|
|O. Pecherov, C||10||2-5||1-1||1||0||2||6|
|E. Thomas, C||Did Not Play|
|G. Arenas, PG||Did Not Play|
|N. Young, SG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|R. Davis, SG||34||4-8||0-0||4||4||2||10|
|D. Cook, SG||33||3-8||1-2||3||1||3||9|
|J. Williams, PG||28||3-10||2-2||1||7||1||9|
|J. Anthony, C||26||3-4||2-2||3||0||4||8|
|M. Blount, C||23||4-7||3-4||4||1||3||12|
|B. Jones, SF||28||6-9||2-5||3||1||2||15|
|C. Quinn, PG||26||2-8||1-2||2||4||3||6|
|E. Barron, C||24||5-9||0-0||6||1||1||10|
|S. Lasme, PF||12||0-0||2-2||4||1||0||2|
|B. Ahearn, PG||7||1-4||2-2||1||3||1||5|
|B. Ahearn, G||7||1-4||2-2||1||3||1||5|
|A. Johnson, SF||Did Not Play|
|U. Haslem, PF||Did Not Play|
|D. Wade, SG||Did Not Play|
|M. Banks, PG||Did Not Play|
|D. Wright, SF||Did Not Play|
|S. Marion, PF||Did Not Play|
|A. Mourning, C||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|