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Butler return gives Washington a boost

STRIKE A POSE: LeBron James, with supermodel Gisele Bundchen, is just the third man to make Vogue’s cover.


STRIKE A POSE: LeBron James, with supermodel Gisele Bundchen, is just the third man to make Vogue’s cover.

WASHINGTON — Caron Butler unleashed a month's worth of pent-up energy on his 28th birthday, returning to the Wizards' lineup after a 16-game injury absence to score 19 in a 101-99 win over Cleveland on Thursday night.

Butler, whose hip injury sent the Wizards into a February slump, made six of his first eight shots. He finished 8-for-18 from the field and had five rebounds in 41 minutes.

Butler had a better game than LeBron James, who marked his appearance on the cover of the April issue of Vogue with a spotty performance. James was called for an offensive foul in the final 20 seconds and his potential winning 27-footer hit the front of the rim and bounced away as time expired.

James finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and seven turnovers. He went 9-for-22 from the field, including 1-for-7 from 3-point range.

James joins actors Richard Gere and George Clooney as the only men to make the cover in the influential fashion magazine's 116-year history. The photo was shot in January by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

CLEVELAND (99): James 9-22 6-8 25, Wallace 3-3 2-2 8, Varejao 2-9 0-0 4, West 3-6 2-2 10, Pavlovic 9-15 1-2 24, Smith 1-5 5-8 7, Szczerbiak 2-9 0-0 6, Brown 2-5 2-2 6, Da.Jones 3-7 0-0 9. Totals 34-81 18-24 99.

WASHINGTON (101): Butler 8-18 3-5 19, Jamison 5-14 5-9 17, Haywood 6-9 2-2 14, Daniels 2-4 6-7 10, Stevenson 4-10 1-2 13, Mason 0-1 0-0 0, Songaila 7-8 1-1 15, Blatche 1-2 1-2 3, Young 3-8 3-4 10, McGuire 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 36-74 22-32 101.

Cleveland 24 30 25 20— 99

Washington 27 19 34 21— 101

3-Point GoalsCleveland 13-32 (Pavlovic 5-9, Da.Jones 3-5, West 2-3, Szczerbiak 2-5, James 1-7, Brown 0-3), Washington 7-19 (Stevenson 4-6, Jamison 2-7, Young 1-2, Daniels 0-1, Butler 0-3). Fouled OutPavlovic. ReboundsCleveland 58 (Varejao 12), Washington 43 (Jamison 10). AssistsCleveland 18 (West, James 7), Washington 20 (Daniels 7). Total FoulsCleveland 26, Washington 25. TechnicalsWashington defensive three second.

ODEN PRACTICES: Greg Oden practiced with the Trail Blazers for the first time since right knee surgery ended the No. 1 draft pick's debut season before it started six months ago.

Oden, the 7-foot center from Ohio State, surprised his teammates Wednesday when he participated in offensive drills and even dunked during 45 minutes of half-speed work.

"Yeah, it was nice," Oden said Thursday, in Sacramento for Portland's game with the Kings. "I learned some of the plays that I'm not going to use, but it was good to be out there with the guys and go through some of the stuff that they go through."

Only coach Nate McMillan and athletic trainer Jay Jensen knew Oden would be in practice for the first time since microfracture surgery in September.

"They made some comments about it," McMillan said of his players. "They laughed about it and said, 'Hey, finally you're here to work.' "

Wizards 101

Cavaliers 99

Butler return gives Washington a boost 03/13/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 13, 2008 11:59pm]
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