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Wizards seal fourth straight playoff berth behind Butler's 29

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Caron Butler scored 29 points and the Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat 109-95 on Friday night to clinch a playoff spot for the fourth straight season.

It's the first time the team has qualified for the playoffs in four consecutive seasons since it made five straight appearances from 1983-88.

The woeful Heat set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers and still couldn't beat the Wizards, who were without Antawn Jamison for the first time this season. Jamison, who averages 21.5 points and a team-leading 10.2 rebounds a game, was sidelined with a sprained right shoulder.

Darius Songaila, who started in Jamison's place, had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Andray Blatche had 17 points.

It was the second game back for Washington's Gilbert Arenas, who missed 66 games after left knee surgery. He served as a reserve again, finishing with 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes.

Washington took a 20-19 lead when DeShawn Stevenson hit a 3-pointer with 2:19 to play in the first quarter. Stevenson's 3 started a 14-4 run that gave the Wizards a 31-23 lead early in the second quarter. They led 60-44 at halftime, and their lead was never fewer than nine points in the second half.

Ricky Davis had a season-high 33 points and Chris Quinn finished with 24 for the Heat, who must win two of their final six games to avoid tying the worst record in their 20-year history. Miami, an NBA-worst 13-63, went 15-67 in 1988-89, its first season.

Game notes
Washington coach Eddie Jordan did not appear for his pregame media session, but was on the bench for the game. He's suffering from a sinus infection. ... Heat coach Pat Riley, who's missed several games to scout college players in the NCAA tournament, is staying home this weekend. "The Final Four is not the place to scout, anyhow," Riley said. ... Riley said that G Jason Williams, who's missed the last seven games with a sprained right thumb, wants to play on Sunday against Detroit. ... Miami's last 11 field goals were 3-pointers. Its last two-point field goal came with 4:08 remaining in the third quarter. ... Quinn's 24 points equaled his season high.