Washington 121, Milwaukee 107

MILWAUKEE, April 1 (AP) -- Getting a win didn't lessen the jolt to the Washington Wizards' playoff drive.

Gilbert Arenas scored 19 points and Caron Butler added 19 points but fractured his right hand early in the second half of the Wizards' 121-107 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.

"That's a blow,'' Arenas said. "You never want an injury as you're getting ready for the playoffs. To see him go down with an injury like that is hurtful.''

Butler wasn't optimistic about returning this season.

"Second round, third round (of the playoffs), a possibility,'' Butler said after the game, his hand in a cast. "But right now, I probably won't have a jersey on until next year.''

Butler said the accident happened when he was going up to challenge a shot by Ruben Patterson and his right hand hit the backboard.

"My hand caught under the rim, and it popped out of place,'' said Butler, who was playing his third game since missing six games with a left knee contusion. "I see a hand specialist tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll get the opportunity to come back as soon as possible.''

He entered the game averaging 19.1 points and 7.5 rebounds.

"Caron is going to out for a long time,'' Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "Everybody in the league has had some devastating injuries. Miami with (Dwyane) Wade and even the Lakers with (Lamar) Odom for a while. You can just go down the list. We've got a capable bench. We don't have a Caron Butler All-Star, but if we can collectively do things at a high level, we should win our share of games and go onto the playoffs.''

Darius Songaila came in for Butler with 6:28 left in the third.

Jarvis Hayes scored 17 points, including two 3-pointers and a basket during a 10-1 run midway through the fourth that put Washington in control.

Washington's victory, coupled with Miami's loss to Detroit earlier Sunday, helped the Wizards regain first in the Southeast Division. Washington fell a half-game out of first Friday when it lost to Toronto and the Heat beat Minnesota.

Mo Williams scored 25 points for Milwaukee, whose leading scorer, Michael Redd, was out with left knee pain. He missed 20 games earlier in the season (Jan. 8 - Feb. 14) with a left patellar tendon strain.

Milwaukee was missing starting center Andrew Bogut (foot) and reserve forward Charlie Villanueva (shoulder), out with season-ending injuries since March 21. Projected starting forward Bobby Simmons (foot) missed the entire season due to injury.

The starting five all scored in double figures for Milwaukee, but it wasn't enough as the Bucks lost their sixth straight game.

Patterson scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Charlie Bell added 18, Ersan Ilyasova and Brian Skinner each had 10.

Led by Hayes, the Wizards' bench outscored the Bucks' reserves 53-25 as Washington improved to 13-23 on the road after having lost nine of its previous 11 away from home. Songaila added 15, Calvin Booth 11 and tied his career-high with 11 rebounds, and Antonio Daniels had nine points and eight assists.

"They've got a deep team,'' Bell said. "Right now, we don't have that type of team. Our starting five can compete with anybody in the league, but once we go to the bench, we've got a lot of inexperienced guys. We just don't have the firepower.''

Washington shot 54.3 percent after shooting 39.8 percent against Toronto.

Washington came into the season 2-13 in the previous 15 games at the Bradley Center, but won three of four against Milwaukee this season. The victory helped the Wizards win the series for just the second time in nine seasons.

Earl Boykins' 3-pointer got the Bucks to 90-88 early in the fourth, but Booth's basket and two free throws by Hayes kept Milwaukee from getting any closer.

"It makes me feel better knowing that the guys out there are playing with all the effort they've got,'' Butler said.

Williams scored 16 points and Bell added 11 as the Bucks fought back in the third. A jumper by Williams tied it at 85 with less than five seconds left in the quarter, but Daniels completed a three-point play after being fouled by Bell and sent the Wizards into the fourth with an 88-85 lead.

Butler's 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting helped the Wizards erase the Bucks' 12-point second-quarter lead and take a 57-51 lead at the half.

Notes: Larry Krystkowiak is 2-6 since replacing Terry Stotts as Milwaukee's coach. ... Bucks C Dan Gadzuric played 21 minutes after missing the previous 23 games with a shoulder separation caused by a collision with Miami's Alonzo Mourning on Feb 3.


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