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Butler, Jamison ruin Durant's return to Washington

Jan 6, 2008 - 10:55 PM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and the Washington Wizards spoiled Kevin Durant's homecoming.

Butler scored 33 points, Jamison added 21 and 12 rebounds as the Washington Wizards routed Durant's Seattle SuperSonics, 108-86, on Sunday.

The league's top scoring rookie, Durant grew up in Washington, D.C. before heading to Texas for one year and eventually becoming the No. 2 overall pick of last June's draft.

With family and friends in attendance, Durant, who had 28 points in his return from a sprained index finger on Thursday, scored 19 points on just 7-of-21 from the floor as the SuperSonics lost their fourth straight road game.

"It was cool to see my family in the stands," Durant said. "A lot of them hadn't seen me play since I have been in the NBA, so it was nice to have them here. It would have been better if we had gotten the win. You have to give the Wizards a lot of credit."

While Durant failed to find his stroke, Butler had no such problems. The six-year veteran shot 12-of-21 from the floor and scored 16 points in the first half to lead the Wizards to a 52-46 lead at the break.

"You've got to make the homecoming difficult to the new young guys," Butler said of Durant, and Jeff Green, who played at Georgetown. "They make their first couple of shots and their confidence was building and the crowd was getting into it. We had to take the momentum of the game and turn it into our favor and we did that."

Green, who got into early foul trouble and managed only eight points on 4-of-13 shooting, tried to approach the game like any other.

"Just another game, but in my hometown, that's about it," Green said. "It's another arena with 10 players on the floor. Just a bad day for us. We shot terrible from the field."

The always steady Jamison also contributed with his 21st double-double of the season, and Antonio Daniels ran the offense efficiently with 13 points and 10 assists.

"We need to bring it night in and night out," Jamison said. "There are certain games that as a team you have to win. We can ill-afford to take any games off."

Daniels, who missed seven games with a sprained MCL in mid-December, continued to fill in nicely for All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas, who had a second knee surgery in November and will not begin basketball activities for another three months.

On his 26th birthday, Arenas watched from the bench as the Wizards improved to 14-10 without the outspoken combo-guard.

"I don't really know," Arenas said of when he hopes to resume playing. "I keep pushing it back. Hopefully, I will be able to come back sometime between the middle of February to the middle of March."

Seattle, which has lost six of eight overall, traded baskets with Washington and cut the lead to 67-62 with 4:13 left in the third. However, the Wizards went on a 23-9 run to take a 90-71 lead with 8:07 left in the final quarter.

Reserve forward Wally Szczerbiak scored 18 points and Nick Collison added 13 and a season high-tying 17 rebounds for Seattle, which has lost five straight in Washington.

"I feel like I'm going to be shooting it well every day if you give me a chance to play," said Szczerbiak, who almost single-handedly shot the Sonics into the game with 13 second-quarter points.

"They made shots, we didn't. Plain and simple," Green said. "Our defensive effort wasn't always there. They made hustle plays. We turned the ball over too much. We've made late turnovers and that's something that we can control. We need to go through the rest of the season without making those mistakes and maybe we can figure out a way to come up with a victory."








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