NBA Game Summary - Cleveland at Washington
(Wednesday, December 5th)
Final Score: Washington 105, Cleveland 86
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Caron Butler scored 27 points as the Washington Wizards pounded the short-handed Cavaliers, 105-86, at the Verizon Center.
Antawn Jamison tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Brendan Haywood chipped in 17 points and 10 boards for the Wizards, who led by as many as 28 before rolling to a second straight victory.
The Cavaliers, losers of five straight, played without LeBron James, who missed his fourth consecutive contest with a sprained left index finger. James is averaging 30.7 points, 8.1 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game this season, and his production has been sorely missed. The Cavs are on their longest skid since dropping five in a row February 22 - March 1, 2006.
Daniel Gibson had 13 points and eight assists for the Cavaliers, who shot just 43.2 percent from the field, nearly 10 percent less than the Wizards. Drew Gooden and Shannon Brown each added 13 points, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
This was the first time the teams played since the Cavaliers swept the Wizards in the opening round of last year's playoffs, and Washington took advantage of an absent James to cruise to victory.
The Cavs scored the first six points of the contest, but the Wizards later used a 10-0 spurt to take the lead. Darius Songaila capped the burst with a fadeaway jumper for a 20-13 advantage, and although the Cavs scored the next eight to take the lead on an Ira Newble three-pointer, Butler's jumper at the buzzer gave Washington a one-point edge going into the second.
The Wizards used a 13-2 run to start the second and boosted that lead to 53-31 just before the half on a pair of free throws from Nick Young.
Washington's advantage reached a high point at 64-36 with 8:42 left in the third following a pair of Butler jumpers.
The Cavaliers closed within 79-62 going into the fourth, and actually climbed within nine, the last time at 88-79 following a pair of Gibson free throws with 5:42 left.
However, Haywood countered with a driving layup, and after Gibson missed a three, Jamison drove in for another layup, moving the cushion to 92-79 with 4:50 left. It was part of a 14-4 run, culminating in a bank shot from Antonio Daniels, moving the margin to 102-83.
Earlier in the day, the Cavaliers matched the Charlotte Bobcats' contract offer sheet signed by restricted free-agent forward Anderson Varejao. Varejao, who is now under contract with Cleveland, signed an offer sheet by the Bobcats on Tuesday and the Cavaliers had seven days to match...Cleveland also announced that guard/forward Demetris Nichols has been waived...Wizards star Gilbert Arenas sat on the Wizards' bench for the first time since his knee surgery last month...The Wizards outrebounded the Cavs, 45-29...Young had 14 points and Daniels finished with 10 points and nine assists...Newble scored 11.
12/05 21:54:40 ET