WASHINGTON (AP) -Caron Butler unleashed a month's worth of pent-up energy on his 28th birthday, returning to the Washington Wizards lineup after a 16-game injury absence to score 19 points in a 101-99 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.
Butler, whose hip injury sent the Wizards into a February slump, scored the game's opening basket, survived some rough contact and made six of his first eight shots.
Butler scored only one point in the fourth quarter, but at least he had a better game than basketball-model LeBron James, who marked his appearance on the cover of the April issue of Vogue with a spotty performance.
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 and 1-for-6 in the fourth quarter.
The victory put the Wizards (32-32) back at .500 for the first time since they were 24-24 on Feb. 6.
Antawn Jamison had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Darius Songaila scored 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting.
Kings 96, Trail Blazers 85
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Ron Artest scored 20 points and Sacramento never trailed in defeating Portland.
Beno Udrih had 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Kings, who snapped a two-game losing streak at Arco Arena. Brad Miller had 14 points and seven rebounds, John Salmons scored 11 points and Mikki Moore added 10.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points for Portland and Brandon Roy contributed 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Travis Outlaw had scored 13 points and Martell Webster added 10.
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