Miami at Washington

Butler's 29 points help Washington secure playoff spot

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The Washington Wizards are in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, and their coach wasn't around to talk about it.

Eddie Jordan is suffering from a sinus infection and went straight home moments after Washington beat the Miami Heat 109-95 on Friday night.

It was somehow fitting that the Wizards, whose three top scorers have played just nine games together this season, would have an under-the-weather coach on this somewhat special night. It's the first time the team has qualified for the playoffs in four consecutive seasons since it made five straight appearances from 1983-88.

The woeful Heat set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers and still couldn't beat the Wizards, who were without Antawn Jamison for the first time this season. Jamison, who averages 21.5 points and a team-leading 10.2 rebounds a game, was sidelined with a sprained right shoulder.

The Heat also were shaken when forward Alexander Johnson went down in a scary sequence with about nine minutes to play. Johnson was struck in the temple in a collision with teammate Mark Blount and taken to the locker room where he was conscious but unresponsive. He got a CT scan at the hospital and was cleared to fly home with the team.

"This Godforsaken season has got to be over with," Miami coach Pat Riley said.

Caron Butler scored 29 points for the Washington. Darius Songaila, who started in Jamison's place, had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Andray Blatche had 17 points.

For the Wizards, who have advanced past the first round just once in three seasons, making the playoffs is no big deal. They're looking for more.

"As long as we're healthy, we can beat anybody," Butler said.

It was the second game back for Washington's Gilbert Arenas, who missed 66 games after left knee surgery. He served as a reserve again, finishing with 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes.

Jordan called top assistant Mike O'Koren on Friday morning, saying he didn't think he could coach, but he did, though he didn't speak to the media.

"He showed toughness -- like our whole team showed with the injuries," O'Koren said.

Washington took a 20-19 lead when DeShawn Stevenson hit a 3-pointer with 2:19 to play in the first quarter. Stevenson's 3 started a 14-4 run that gave the Wizards a 31-23 lead early in the second quarter. They led 60-44 at halftime, and their lead was never fewer than nine points in the second half.

Ricky Davis had a season-high 33 points and Chris Quinn finished with 24 for the Heat, who must win two of their final six games to avoid tying the worst record in their 20-year history. Miami, an NBA-worst 13-63, went 15-67 in 1988-89, its first season.

Notes

  • Riley, who's missed several games to scout college players in the NCAA tournament, is staying home this weekend. "The Final Four is not the place to scout, anyhow," Riley said.
  • Riley said that G Jason Williams, who's missed the last seven games with a sprained right thumb, wants to play on Sunday against Detroit.
  • Miami's last 11 field goals were 3-pointers. Its last two-point field goal came with 4:08 remaining in the third quarter.
  • Quinn's 24 points equaled his career high.
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Can't stop Caron: The Heat can only watch as Butler drops 29 points on them.  (Getty Images)
Can't stop Caron: The Heat can only watch as Butler drops 29 points on them. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Miami (13-63) 2321282395
Washington (39-37) «29312821109
MIA:R. Davis 33 Pts
MIA:D. Cook 5 Reb
MIA:R. Davis 8 Ast
WAS:C. Butler 29 Pts
WAS:B. Haywood 8 Reb
WAS:G. Arenas 8 Ast
Players of the Game
WashingtonMiami

C. Butler

R. Davis
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
29353318
Miami
R. Davis, SG4411-162-218133
C. Quinn, PG428-173-428124
D. Cook, SG415-150-055213
M. Blount, C301-60-03133
E. Barron, C153-80-05116
J. Anthony, C252-40-13054
B. Ahearn, PG161-10-02223
A. Johnson, SF162-35-84119
S. Lasme, PF110-20-00010
K. Powell, CDid Not Play
U. Haslem, PFDid Not Play
D. Wade, SGDid Not Play
M. Banks, PGDid Not Play
D. Wright, SFDid Not Play
S. Marion, PFDid Not Play
J. Williams, PGDid Not Play
A. Mourning, CDid Not Play
Totals 33-7210-1525261795
 45.8%66.7% 
Washington
C. Butler, SF4411-185-835329
B. Haywood, C404-66-681314
D. Stevenson, SG334-110-042112
D. Songaila, PF284-104-486012
A. Daniels, PG271-42-23304
A. Blatche, SF257-82-271417
G. Arenas, PG204-102-258013
R. Mason, SG82-30-01006
N. Young, SG81-20-00132
D. McGuire, PF40-00-01100
O. Pecherov, C30-10-00000
A. Jamison, PFDid Not Play
E. Thomas, CDid Not Play
Totals 38-7321-24402814109
 52.1%87.5% 
Other Games
Char 105 Final
Tor 100
Phi 109 Final
Atl 104
NY 110 Final
NO 118
NJ 87 Final
Det 106
GS 117 Final
Mem 86
SA 64 Final
Utah 90
Ind 105 Final
Mil 101
Min 88 Final
Pho 117
Dal 108 Final
LAL 112
Hou 79 Final
Sea 66