Butler Lifts Wizards to Last Second Win
Carla Peay €" WI Sports Editor | 2/9/2009, 3:03 p.m.
After missing the previous two games with the flu, Wizards all-star forward and co-captain Caron Butler scored 35 points and added 13 rebounds as the Wizards defeated the visiting Indiana Pacers, 119-117 on Sun. Feb. 8 at Verizon Center. Butler scored the team€s final 15 points, including a 16-foor jumper at the buzzer to give the Wizards the much needed win.
Butler later admitted to being winded during the game€s final stretches, but joked that he didn€t want coach Ed Tapscott to notice, because he didn€t want to be taken out of the game.
€I was hoping someone would come pick me up,€ Butler said.
Forward and co-captain Antawn Jamison added 34 points and guard Nick Young added 20 in a game that finally saw Tapscott with the upper hand.
€Since we were struggling, it means even more to get this win,€ Tapscott said, adding that it is usually the team with the hot player, and not the best team that pulls out the victory. €We had the hot player, and it was Caron Butler,€ Tapscott said.
The win was also a pleasant outcome for Jamison, who pulled no punches two nights earlier during the team€s embarrassing 124-103 loss to the Denver Nuggets.
€Everybody wants to come to the party on offense, but some of the young players are not willing to sacrifice for the good of the team. It€s embarrassing for me. It€s getting frustrating. You still have to be a professional, come to work and compete. Right now, they€re [the young players] not showing us anything,€ Jamison said after the Fri. Feb. 6 loss, calling the Wizards current situation the €most difficult stretch of his career.€
With the return of Butler to the starting lineup, however, the Wizards fortunes should improve, and the victory over the Pacers may be evidence the team€s younger players took a moment to listen to Jamison€s words.
The Wizards, now 11-40, have two more games before the All-Star break. They will face the Atlanta Hawks on Tue. Feb., 10, and then head to Charlotte, where they will play the Bobcats on Wed. Feb. 11. The All-Star game will be held in Phoenix on Sun. Feb. 15. The Wizards next home game will be Tue. Feb. 17 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.