Butler, Jamison lead Wizards past struggling NetsDec 10, 2007 - 4:51 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON (Ticker) - Caron Butler had 28 points to lead the Washington Wizards to a 104-89 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Sunday, ending the league's longest current losing streak by one team against another.
The Nets, who dropped their third in a row, had won six straight and eight of their past nine against the Wizards.
Antawn Jamison added 22 points and 10 rebounds for Washington (10-10), which climbed to the .500 mark for the fifth time this season.
DeShawn Stevenson added 12 points for the Wizards, who made their first 17 free throws en route to hitting a season-high 34 from the line. Washington was perfect on 14 free throws in the first half.
Vince Carter led New Jersey with 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting and Jason Kidd, who has been the subject of trade rumors since missing a game last week with a migraine, notched his fourth career triple-double against the Wizards with 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds.
Kidd's triple-double was the 92nd of his 14-year NBA career, eclipsing the Golden State Warriors' franchise total. Only five teams in the league, including the Nets, have recorded more triple-doubles than Kidd.
If Kidd maintains his current averages of 11.4 points, 10.4 assists and 8.6 rebounds throughout the season, it will mark only the fifth time in NBA history that a player has averaged at least 11.0 points, 10.0 assists and 8.0 rebounds for a season.
Oscar Robertson accomplished the feat three times and Magic Johnson did it during the 1982-83 season.
"I feel great," said Kidd, who missed the Nets' 100-93 loss to the Knicks last week because of a migraine. "I just play hard when I'm out there and try to help my teammates win ballgames. Unfortunately, we haven't done that lately.
"The game of basketball is about runs and they made the run right off the bat. Then we made a run and we kind of controlled the game at that point. They came back in the third and put us on our heels and they got us in the penalty. They were shooting free throws and we were missing shots on the other end, so that's how they got their lead."
Butler made sure the lead grew in the fourth quarter when he scored 10 points during a 14-5 run to begin the period that gave Washington a 92-77 lead with 6:40 left to put the game away.
"Coach (Eddie) Jordan told me to continue to stay active by moving without the ball, crashing the boards," Butler said. "The opportunities presented themselves, and I was able to find teammates in rhythm. I think that was the key. It was Kidd's night and you could hear them make noise, and we just fed off that."
The competition got heated late in the third quarter as the Wizards broke open a tight game when they closed the period with a 7-0 run en route to a 78-72 after three quarters.
Nets forward Bostjan Nachbar picked up his fourth personal foul on a clear path foul in the backcourt against Antonio Daniels, who made both free throws.
Stevenson followed with a vicious slam over Nets forward Richard Jefferson but drew a technical for taunting.
"Once DeShawn got that major dunk, the team fed off that energy," Jamison said. "To be able to end the way we did in the second half, you can't script it any better than what we did tonight."
Jefferson, who finished with nine points, made the technical free throw and the score was tied at 64-64. But that was the only free throw of the game for Jefferson, whose 9.0 free throws made per game led the league entering Sunday. His 10.5 free-throw attempts per game ranked third in the league.
"This is the first game in probably about 200 games that I didn't shoot a free throw, outside of a technical," Jefferson said. "So, it was one of those nights. That's just how it goes in this league. You play long enough, you're going to have some of those nights, but to not shoot a free throw. And I'm not questioning the referees' calls. It's just we didn't get the benefit of the doubt pretty much at any point in time tonight.
"If a person that's known around the league for consistently attacking the basket night in and night out doesn't shoot any and the opposing team shoots 20 more than you do - but we had three very good officials out there tonight, and I'm not questioning any of them. Sometimes, it just goes like that."
Butler and Brendan Haywood scored eight points apiece to lead Washington to a 27-23 lead after one quarter.
Nachbar's dunk gave the Nets their first lead, 32-30, with 9:03 remaining in the second.
Carter scored 10 of New Jersey's first 12 points of the second half, including a 3-pointer that gave the Nets a 59-50 lead with 8:08 remaining in the third.
"It never really matters how well you manage to play if you don't win, so in my opinion, it just wasn't enough," Carter said. "We just need to find ways to eliminate our bad segments. You can't have numerous amounts of bad segments throughout the course of the game that compile."
Darius Songaila, who had 11 points and six rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench for Washington, sprained his right ankle and is listed as day-to-day.
Nachbar finished with 19 points and seven rebounds for the Nets.
NEW JERSEY 89
WASHINGTON 104 FINAL
Dec 9 9:23 PM
NEW JERSEY 72
WASHINGTON 78 END, 3RD QTR
Dec 9 8:54 PM
NEW JERSEY 48
WASHINGTON 42 HALFTIME
Dec 9 8:08 PM
NEW JERSEY 23
WASHINGTON 27 END, 1ST QTR
Dec 9 7:37 PM
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