Final

Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 12/1

Game 1: Saturday, December 1st
Magic96Final
Wizards87
Game 2: Friday, December 21st
Wizards93Final
Magic75
Game 3: Sunday, March 3rd
Magic102Final
OT
Wizards107
Game 4: Friday, March 8th
Wizards96Final
Magic99

Magic 96

(8-9, 5-5 away)

Wizards 87

(5-11, 2-6 home)

    Coverage: WBDC

    6:30 PM ET, December 1, 2001

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 21 29 22 2496
    WSH 18 21 22 2687

    Top Performers

    Orlando: D. Armstrong 17 Pts, 8 Reb, 12 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Washington: B. Haywood 18 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Magic win; hurting Jordan might be forced to sit

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michael Jordan's knee is buckling under the strain, and he's going home to Chicago for help.

    Michael Jordan
    Jordan

    Playing his fourth game in five nights, Jordan faded badly in the second half and was taken out of the game early in Saturday night's 96-87 loss to the Orlando Magic.

    Jordan has barely been able to practice for at least a week because of tendinitis in his right knee, which bothered him during his summer comeback workouts and flared up again during training camp. He has already had the knee drained once, and he is going to Chicago on Sunday to see the former Bulls team physician, Dr. John Heffron.

    "I just developed some fluid on my knee, and I think it's about time to pay attention to it so it won't linger all season long," Jordan said. "I don't think it's going to be something that's going to linger. I have to make sure there's no ligament damage, and get it treated, get it drained and see what the doctors say I have to do and see if I can get rid of it."

    When he announced his comeback, Jordan said he planned to play all 82 games, despite several physical setbacks that took a toll on his 38-year-old body. Now he says he reluctantly might have to sit out a game or two.

    "If (the doctors) come to an agreement tomorrow, I may," Jordan said. "It's early in the season. I don't want to. I'd rather continue to play. But if it's not going to get any better other than me sitting out -- long-term, I want to play later in the season."

    Jordan last missed a game due to injury on March 5, 1993, against San Antonio. He was hospitalized with a foot infection and missed two games. The Wizards have two days off before a Tuesday game in San Antonio, the start of a four-game road trip.

    Jordan's aches and pain made "young dog" Tracy McGrady the winner in the first Jordan-McGrady matchup of the year.

    Matched one-on-one against Jordan on national television, McGrady scored 16 of his 26 points in the second half. Jordan didn't have the legs to guard McGrady after halftime, and McGrady limited Jordan to 2-for-12 shooting in the second half.

    Jordan, who had McGrady in mind when he said the "young dogs" would be chasing him this season, shot 6-for-19 for the game and missed all four shots he took in the fourth quarter. He finished with 15 points in 33 minutes, leaving with 3:50 to play and the Wizards trailing by 13.

    "I had to take him out," coach Doug Collins said. "I know he wanted to play. I wasn't going to let him do that. I love him too much. I know he's got will and determination and all those things, but I knew he was playing on one leg and I wasn't going to let him do that."

    Jordan was even outscored by a player one year older and with more wear and tear: 39-year-old Patrick Ewing had 18 points and 12 rebounds in a reserve role for Orlando.

    Richard Hamilton scored 21 points, making 11 of 12 free throws, to lead the Wizards. Rookie Brendan Haywood came off the bench to score 18 points.

    Darrell Armstrong had 17 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for Orlando.

    Two vital stretches gave the Magic an 11-point lead at the half. McGrady scored three strong inside baskets while Jordan was temporarily out of the game after being poked in the eye, then poor Wizards defense and a turnover by Hamilton gave Orlando five points in the final five seconds to make the score 50-39 at the break.

    The Wizards got as close as five in the third quarter, but back-to-back turnovers by Christian Laettner and Jordan kept them from getting closer. The Magic scored the next eight points -- four by McGrady, four by Ewing -- and led 72-61 going into the fourth.

    So, bad knee or not, Round One goes to McGrady.

    "The torch is lit," Armstrong said. "He's trying to take over that torch, and that's good. Maybe the torch got passed a little bit tonight, but Jordan is still Jordan."

    Game notes
    Grant Hill missed his second game in a row with bone spurs in his surgically repaired left ankle. ... The Wizards are 0-11 when trailing after three quarters. ... His knee problem aside, Jordan said the Wizards met their goal of going 2-2 this week. "I think this is a good week for us to turn us around and head us in the right direction," he said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    ORL
    WSH
    Points 96 87
    FGM-FGA 38-87 (.437) 32-85 (.376)
    3PM-3PA 5-19 (.263) 1-4 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 15-22 (.682) 22-28 (.786)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-46 17-47
    Assists 20 15
    Turnovers 10 14
    Steals 6 5
    Blocks 8 6
    Fast Break Points 9 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 27 (2/0) 21 (2/0)

    Top Performers

    Orlando
    Washington
    Darrell Armstrong Armstrong
    Points: 17
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 1
    Brendan Haywood Haywood
    Points: 18
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2