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Butler does it all as Wizards top SuperSonics

Feb 6, 2007 - 5:45 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- With Antawn Jamison out and Gilbert Arenas off his game, the Washington Wizards needed someone to step up. Enter Caron Butler.

Butler poured in a career-high 38 points and the Wizards continued the Seattle SuperSonics' slump on the road with a 118-108 victory.

Jamison is expected to be out for three to six weeks with a sprained knee and Arenas again struggled from the field, missing 10 of his 14 shots. Butler took it upon himself to carry the Washington offense and Seattle had no answers for the first-time All-Star.

Butler was 14-of-23 from the field and added four steals while eclipsing his previous career high of 35 points set on March 28, 2003 against Minnesota.

"(Caron) played a heck of a game tonight. He shot, slashed to the basket and that is what good players do," Seattle forward Chris Wilcox said. Gilbert had 16 points tonight, but another guy stepped up for him. Caron Butler is a great player and they came to win."

The Wizards started the second half slowly and the Sonics opened a 70-58 lead with an 11-0 run early in the third quarter. Washington responded with a 17-4 run that Arenas capped with a 3-pointer to give the Wizards a 75-74 lead.

With the score tied, 79-79, with two minutes left in the third, the Wizards took control of the game by scoring nine straight points. Butler had five in the spurt, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 88-79.

"My teammates just found me in a nice rhythm," Butler said. "I was getting open and the guys found me."

Butler was not alone in filling the void left by Jamison and Arena's off-night as Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Andray Blatche all had big games for the Wizards.

Haywood was a force inside, scoring 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Stevenson had 15 points and five assists and Blatche had 14 and seven off the bench.

"Andray practices well every day and he just needs the opportunity to play and gain some confidence," Arenas said. "Brendan came out and did a great job tonight. He hit some shots, blocked shots, rebounded - that's what we need from our center."

Ray Allen scored 29 points and Wilcox added 24 and 10 rebounds, but it was not enough to keep Seattle from setting a franchise-record with its 15th consecutive road loss.

"We go in every game and play well for the first two or three quarters," Allen said. "Most of these games we have been up, but we are giving up leads and doing things in the fourth quarter that do not give us an opportunity to win. It is frustrating."

The Sonics have not won a road game since defeating the Los Angeles Clippers on November 22. The Sonics also have lost five straight overall.

"I know we all want to win but sometimes you have to dig a little deeper," Wilcox said. "Especially in the fourth quarter."

"Yeah, it's affecting all of us," Sonics coach Bob Hill said. "They just lost 15 games in a row on the road. Absolutely it's affecting us."

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