Golden State (26-34) at Washington (32-25)

Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EST Sun Mar 4, 2007
  • TV: NBATV, CW50
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Having Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler in the lineup seems to be what the Washington Wizards need to get back on track.

The Wizards will try to win their second straight with their two stars back from injury, and remain near the top of the Eastern Conference standings when they host the struggling Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

After missing 12 games with a sprained left knee, Jamison scored 22 points on 10-for-20 shooting in 39 minutes in Friday’s 93-92 win over Atlanta.

Butler, who missed three games with lower back spasms, had just four points on 1-for-10 shooting, but had eight rebounds and five assists in 32 minutes as the Wizards (32-25)needed two late free throws from DeShawn Stevenson to snap a four-game losing streak.

“Our guys are back. That’s what it’s about,” Washington coach Eddie Jordan said.

The Wizards, who are trying to stay within reach of conference-leading Detroit, went 4-8 without Jamison, who is averaging 19.3 points and a team-leading 7.9 rebounds. They lost all three without Butler, who is averaging career highs of 20.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.2 steals.

“I don’t care about guys missing me or not,” Jamison said. “That’s behind me. I don’t dwell on that. I know how much I mean to this team—Gilbert (Arenas), Caron, everyone is a piece of the puzzle.”

Arenas, who leads the Wizards with 28.8 points per game, was happy to see his teammates back on the floor.

“It was great having Caron and Antawn back,” said Arenas, who scored 19 points Friday. “You have two more options to go to so teams can’t key on me.”

Washington, one of the NBA’s top scoring teams, struggled offensively without its two stars. The Wizards average 104.7 points, but scored 92.0 during their four-game slide.

Golden State (26-34) is also one of the NBA’s top scoring teams at 104.9 points a game, but has been hampered by injuries to leading scorer Baron Davis (knee) and swingman Stephen Jackson (toe), and has lost five straight.

On Friday, the Warriors fell 106-97 to the New York Knicks in the third game of a five-game road trip. Golden State is averaging 91.2 points during its skid.

Al Harrington scored 26 points and Monta Ellis had 17 for the Warriors, who failed to make a field goal for almost five minutes in the fourth quarter in losing their sixth in a row on the road. Golden State is 6-24 away from home this season.

“I think we missed a lot of open shots and our confidence got a little bit down,” Mickael Pietrus said. “I think we played hard tonight, it’s just a matter of playing a better way and winning.”

Davis, who averages 20.7 points and has missed the last 12 games, could be back Monday when Golden State ends its trip at Detroit. Jackson, who averages 15.3 points, has missed three games in a row.

Washington won both meetings with Golden State last season as Arenas burned his former team by averaging 42.5 points and 8.5 assists. Arenas, who spent his first two seasons in the NBA with the Warriors, is averaging 26.2 points, 6.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds in six games against them.

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Sunday, Mar 4