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Caron Butler's Big Night

Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog, on that rarest of treats -- a Wizards/Pacers game that makes you cry:

Before tonight's Wizards-Pacers game, I went up to Nate and Besse, two of my favorite Wiz fans, and asked why they were here, watching two bad NBA teams, on as beautiful a February evening as D.C. will ever see. They told me they hadn't missed a game all season, and weren't about to start now.

Well, after an ill Caron Butler went all MJ in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 straight points in less than four minutes without missing a shot, and after a sleepy and borderline comatose crowd suddenly turned into some whooping remnant of the glory days, and after Caron laid prone on the court with his head in the first row of seats after winning the game, and after his teammates sprinted out to mob him, Nate came running down to the media section.

"Steinberg!" he yelled at me. "That's why we still come to games." ...

"I cried tonight," his wife, Andrea Butler, told me. "It was like we were in the Finals. I don't know what happened, I got a little emotional. The whole fourth quarter was so good, I just got really emotional. I was just happy to see the crowd get back into it."

So about Caron's sickness. Three days of lying on his back, getting up only to go to the bathroom and the doctor's office, and three bags of IV fluids. He said he was awake for maybe four hours a day, that this was the sickest he's been in six years, and that he still felt ... well, "messed up," we'll say. I asked Andrea about his get-well routine.

"Did I make him anything special? I made a run to CVS for him: TheraFlu and Excedrin," she said. "You could lie and say I made him chicken noodle soup, that might sound good. I kept giving him orange juice because I thought that would make him feel better, but that made him throw up, so I switched and gave him ginger ale."