Butler Scores 22 as Wizards Win 1st on Road

Stevenson adds 21 against Nets

DeShawn Stevenson knows why the Washington Wizards won their first road game of the season.

"We passed the ball well and shot it well as a team," said Stevenson, who scored a season-best 21 points in the Wizards' 108-88 win over the New Jersey Nets Tuesday Night. "We shared the ball as a team and got open looks. It felt good, because I've been in kind of a slump. I just figured I'd come in and shoot it. If I missed, who cares?"

Caron Butler had 22 points and 10 assists for Washington (3-12), which won for just the second time under interim head coach Ed Tapscott and for the first overall against an Eastern Conference opponent after 11 straight losses.

The Wizards came in the worst shooting team in the NBA at 44 percent but shot 52 percent overall, and 54 percent from 3-point range.

After a closely contested first half which ended with Washington holding a 51-50 lead, the Wizards blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Nets 35-12.

The Wizards started the second half on a 14-3 run over the first 4:54 to take a 65-53 lead.

Butler, who had 10 assists, and Jamison had four points each in the run. Stevenson had seven points over the final 4 minutes of the third period.

"In that quarter, we missed some easy shots and got sort of fragmented," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "We never got stops and then Stevenson got going. We kind of lost our rhythm offensively and didn't make it happen on the other end. It's disappointing that we got thoroughly outplayed."

The loss snapped a three-game road winning streak for the Nets (9-8). The Nets were led by Devin Harris, who had 18 points, but only three after halftime, and Vince Carter, who had 16 points. Keyon Dooling added 14 off the bench for the Nets.

"We were devoid of all energy," Frank said. "That's just the NBA schedule for you. With games like this, you have to dig deeper. We definitely played a whole lot different tonight than we did on the road trip."

After a closely contested first half, the Wizards blew the game open, outscoring New Jersey 35-12 in the third period.

The Wizards led 51-50 at halftime, then outscored the Nets 14-3 over the first 4:54 of the second half to take a commanding 65-53 lead. Butler and Antawn Jamison (22 points) each scored four points in the game-deciding run.

The Nets cut the lead to 70-60 on a three-point play by Carter. But the Wizards went on a 16-1 run over the next 3 minutes and coasted from there.

The Nets' Harris, the NBA Player of the Week last week, was disappointed with his team's effort.

"We didn't have any energy and that starts with me and Vince and goes all the way down," Harris said. "We have a small margin of error as a team and we need to give more than a decent effort if we want to win. We made two steps forward and now one big step back. When we struggle to make shots, we're going to have a tough time winning games." 

Notes: The Nets have lost five of their last six home games after their annual Thanksgiving road trip. ... The Wizards were the last NBA team without a road victory. ... The Nets scored a season-low 12 points in the third quarter, while allowing a season-high 35 points to the Wizards. ... Butler went down with an apparent groin injury in the third quarter and hobbled off, but managed to return to action later on. ... The Wizards connected on a season-best 13 shots from 3-point range.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us