Wednesday , Mar , 29 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Butler, Wizards down Kings without Arenas

Sacramento, CA (Sports Network) – Caron Butler scored 23 points and pulled
down nine rebounds as the Washington Wizards downed the Sacramento Kings,
97-84, at ARCO Arena.

Antonio Daniels and Antawn Jamison each scored 17 points while Billy Thomas
chipped in 14 points off the bench and Etan Thomas added 12 points and eight
rebounds for the Wizards, who won despite the absence of Gilbert Arenas, the
team’s leading scorer and the fourth leading scorer in the NBA, who missed
Tuesday’s contest with the flu.

Mike Bibby dropped 20 points while Brad Miller and Francisco Garcia each
totaled 14 points for the Kings, who have now lost two straight and three of
their last four games.

With the win, Washington moves to 1 1/2 games up on both Indiana and Milwaukee
for the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. The loss drops the Kings 2 1/2
games behind the idle Los Angeles Lakers for seventh in the Western
Conference. They now hold a 1 1/2 game lead over Utah for the eighth and final
playoff spot.

Jared Jeffries drained a jumper with 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter
to extend the Wizards lead to eleven, 76-65 heading into the final 12 minutes.

Shareef Abdur-Rahim opened the final stanza with back-to-back buckets to cut
the lead to seven, 76-69. However, the Wizards extended their lead to 13
points midway through the quarter as Billy Thomas converted a 3-on-1 break
with a layup. The Kings could only get as close as nine points the rest of the
way.

The Wizards led by one with 3:04 to play in the opening stanza, but scored
nine of the final 12 points to end the quarter as Butler hit back-to-back
buckets and Jamison hit three freebies as Washington held a 27-20 edge after
the first quarter.

Washington held a small advantage throughout the second stanza, leading by as
many as seven on a Butler free throw with 8:04 left in the half. The Kings
chipped away at the lead and Ron Artest’s buzzer-beating three-pointer brought
Sacramento to within one, 52-51, at the break.

Game Notes

Kenny Thomas was ejected with 3:11 left in the third quarter after he picked
up a flagrant foul on Butler and then received a technical for arguing the
call…Both teams shot poorly from beyond the arc as the Kings connected on
23.5 percent while the Wizards hit just 28.6 percent…The Wizards enjoyed a
large disparity from the charity stripe, hitting 23-of-25 compared to 14-of-23
for Sacramento.

SAC WAS