NBA Game Summary - Washington at Detroit
(Wednesday, April 19th)
Final Score: Washington 96, Detroit 80
Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Caron Butler finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds and Antawn Jamison added 21 points and nine boards, as the Washington Wizards sewed up the fifth seed in the upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs with a 96-80 victory over Detroit at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Gilbert Arenas donated 18 points and dished out seven assists in Washington's third straight victory. As the fifth seed, Washington will square off against the fourth-seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round.
"It was another really gutsy effort from our guys. We looked like we were stuck in the mud but we found a way," Washington head coach Eddie Jordan said.
Carlos Delfino was the only Piston in double figures with 17 points and three players -- Richard Hamilton, Lindsey Hunter and Rasheed Wallace -- all added nine points in the club's second consecutive setback.
"This is where we want to be. We've been looking forward to the second season all through the season," said Wallace. "It doesn't matter who we play. We're ready."
While the Wizards played their stars, Arenas and Jamison, 38-plus minutes each, Detroit sat starting point guard Chauncey Billups while Ben Wallace was the only starter to play more than 25 minutes.
The Pistons had already locked up the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs prior to the contest and sat many starters to prevent injuries. They will open up against Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs.
After an offensively-challenged first period, the Wizards finally penetrated Detroit's vaunted defense over the half's final three minutes. Washington scored just 19 points in the first stanza, but reeled off a 17-4 run over the final 2:45 to take a 49-41 at the break.
Arenas started the burst with a long trey and Etan Thomas stepped outside and drained a three-pointer with 30 ticks remaining to cap the spurt. Washington made 5-of-7 shots during the stretch to open the halftime lead.
The Wizards led 72-62 after three periods.
Washington's lead ballooned to 16 points during the final period, as Butler's layup made the score 84-68 and capped an 8-0 spurt with 7:32 left.
Detroit emptied its bench in the fourth period and never seriously threatened.
Washington ended the regular season with a 15-26 road record...Detroit finished with an amazing 37-4 record at the Palace of Auburn Hills. It tied the team record for home wins set during the 1988-89 season...The Wizards swept the season series, 3-0...It was the first season sweep for Washington over Detroit since the 1968-69 season.
04/19 23:53:33 ET