- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 20, 2006

Last night at the Palace of Auburn Hills (Mich.):

SEEN AND HEARD

The Wizards are expressing concerns about starting center Etan Thomas’ status for the playoffs, which begin this weekend.

Thomas, who replaced Brendan Haywood in the starting lineup March 27, was placed on the inactive list and missed his third consecutive game with a sprained lower back.

“We hope that the next few days will help him,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said before the game.

If Thomas isn’t ready by the playoffs, the Wizards will be at a huge disadvantage on the front line. They will be forced to spell Haywood with the undersized Michael Ruffin.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Caron Butler stepped up for the Wizards, finishing with 33 points and 12 rebounds.

BY THE NUMBERS

39 Points scored by the Pistons’ starters, who played much less than normal. Detroit was locked into the top seed in the East long ago.

John N. Mitchell

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