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MJ posts career lows in blowout

Err Jordan

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The boxscore will show that Michael Jordan scored a career-low two points in a career-low 12 minutes, and that's not the worst of it.

Jordan also had a career-low zero impact in a game in which he played. He was an inconsequential reserve on the losing side of a rout as the Los Angeles Lakers overwhelmed his Washington Wizards 113-93 Tuesday night.

''I'm disappointed we didn't make a game of it,'' Jordan said. ''In terms of my minutes or my points, I'm not worried about that. I'm not chasing anything. I'm not chasing any stats. Yes, it's a career-low in minutes. It didn't make a difference.''

Jordan, struggling to regain his fitness in his seventh game since the surgery on his right knee, entered the game late in the first quarter, was 1-for-5 with three assists and three turnovers and did not play in the second half. There wasn't much need: The game essentially was over by the end of the first quarter, and the Wizards play at Milwaukee on Wednesday in the second of four games in five nights.

''I talked to Michael at halftime,'' coach Doug Collins said. ''And I said, 'Michael, we'll see how the third quarter goes, and if it looks like we're back into it, then you'll play. If not, we're going to get ready to play the rest of the week.' And, he was in agreement with that.''

Jordan scored fewer than 10 points for the fifth time this season. He scored in single figures only once in his entire 13-year career with the Chicago Bulls. His previous low point total was six in Washington's 108-81 loss at Indiana on Dec. 27.

''It looked to me he was not strong on that leg,'' said Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who won six titles with Jordan in Chicago, ''or as strong as he'd like to be.''

Shaquille O'Neal had 22 points and tied a season-high with 18 rebounds, Kobe Bryant scored all 14 of his points in the first half, and Derek Fisher and Rick Fox had 15 apiece for the Lakers. Los Angeles, starting a four-game road trip, remained 1 1/2 games behind first-place Sacramento in the Western Conference. The Kings beat Memphis 107-83.

None of the Lakers starters played more than 33 minutes, leaving everyone with fresher legs for Wednesday night's game against East leader New Jersey.

''We didn't want to be messing around with this team,'' O'Neal said. ''In the past, we had struggles winning in this building, and we wanted to take it to them right away.''

Playoff hopes are fading fast for the Wizards, although they remained 2 1/2 games behind eighth-place Indiana in the East. The Pacers lost to Boston 105-94.

Richard Hamilton scored 21 points to lead the Wizards. The 113 points was the most allowed by Washington this season.

Kings 107, Grizzlies 83

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Sacramento Kings had six players in double figures, led by Bobby Jackson's 19, as they easily dispatched Memphis.

Chris Webber added 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Hedo Turkoglu finished with 16 points for the league-leading Kings.

The victory was the fifth straight for the Kings and eighth in their last nine. Sacramento also has won five straight on the road, tying a franchise record.

Celtics 105, Pacers 94

INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul Pierce scored 29 points, and Boston used a big fourth quarter to rally past Indiana.

Erick Strickland scored 22 points and Walter McCarty had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who outscored the Pacers 36-14 in the fourth quarter.

Reggie Miller scored 26 points for Indiana, which is a game in front of Toronto for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

Pistons 90, Heat 87

MIAMI -- Ben Wallace grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked six shots, including one by Alonzo Mourning with 15 seconds left to preserve the lead, and Detroit beat the fading Heat.

The Pistons, who have won 15 of their past 18 road games, trail the New Jersey Nets for the Eastern Conference lead by two games with eight to go.

Miami remained 11th in the East with nine games left, four games behind Indiana in the race for the final playoff berth.

The Heat, who missed their final seven shots, lost for the sixth time in seven games. They're on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years, and coach Pat Riley could miss the postseason for the first time in his 20 years as an NBA coach.

Knicks 91, Hornets 85

NEW YORK -- Mark Jackson got the better of David Wesley down the stretch, helping the New York Knicks avoid another blown double-digit lead.

The Knicks got 11 points and 19 rebounds from Kurt Thomas in handing the Hornets just their second loss in 11 games. Charlotte fell into a three-way tie with Philadelphia and Milwaukee for fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Jackson finished with 13 points, nine assists and five rebounds, scoring seven in a row for New York midway through the fourth as Wesley was unable to stop him. The Knicks avenged a 43-point loss to the Hornets earlier this season -- their most lopsided home defeat ever.

Jamal Mashburn scored 25 for the Hornets. Latrell Sprewell led the Knicks with 25 points.

Hawks 100, Bucks 92

ATLANTA -- DerMarr Johnson scored a career-high 28 points, and Jason Terry added 19 as Atlanta sent Milwaukee to its seventh straight road loss.

The game was delayed 28 minutes in the fourth quarter because of a power failure. The Hawks were leading 82-78 with 7:28 remaining when most of the overhead lights went out at Philips Arena.

The Bucks have dropped four of five and 12 of 17.

The Hawks snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bucks and a three-game skid overall.

Rockets 100, SuperSonics 98

HOUSTON -- Steve Francis scored 32 points and Houston's reserves played a major role in a winning rally.

The Rockets overcame a triple-double by Seattle guard Gary Payton, who finished with 25 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

Four points each from Moochie Norris and Terence Morris helped fuel a 17-4 run for a 91-88 Houston lead with four minutes to play. In all, the Rockets' reserves contributed 15 of the team's last 23 points to snap Seattle's four-game winning streak.

The SuperSonics still need any combination of two wins or two losses by the Los Angeles Clippers to wrap up a playoff spot.

Cavaliers 101, Suns 96

CLEVELAND -- Ricky Davis, on a late-season scoring tear he hopes gets him a bigger contract, had 28 points as Cleveland snapped a six-game losing streak.

Davis has provided about the only positive signs for the Cavaliers recently. With his latest outburst, the soon-to-be restricted free agent is averaging 26.2 points in his last five games.

Shawn Marion scored 28 points and hit a 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left that brought Phoenix to 98-96. But Stephon Marbury was short with a 30-footer with seven seconds remaining.



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