<
>

Jordan's play as ugly as teammates' in loss

TORONTO (AP) -- Michael Jordan played so poorly he got laughed at.

Morris Peterson scored 20 points and Jordan went scoreless in
the second half -- and even missed a dunk -- as the Toronto Raptors
opened their season with a 74-68 victory over the Washington
Wizards on Wednesday night.

Jordan, coming off the bench, scored just eight points in 24 minutes. After missing two free throws with 4:06 left, he missed a breakaway dunk as the ball clanged off the back rim. The crowd laughed at Jordan, who turns 40 in February.

The Wizards, down by 12, never recovered.

"I'm pretty sure everybody is going to look at the one play,'' Jordan said. "I felt like I exploded pretty good. I got hit on the knee, but I still should have finished it. Other than that I felt good.''

Jordan finished 4-for-14 from the field.

"I've never seen Michael miss a couple of free throws and a dunk late in the game like that. Normally, that's money in the bank,'' Washington coach Doug Collins said.

The only positive for the new-look Wizards, who shot just 29.6 percent from the field, was the play of Kwame Brown, who had a career-high 18 rebounds, 12 points and five blocks.

"Everybody was fumbling the ball,'' Jordan said. "It was pretty ugly on both sides.''

Vince Carter had 18 points in his first game since surgery on his left knee in March.

Peterson also had a career-high 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who also got a career-high 12 rebounds from new center Jelani McCoy.

"I thought I did a great job on Jordan,'' Peterson said.

The Wizards started the game with four new starters in their lineup, including Jerry Stackhouse, who had a team-high 19 points. Stackhouse, acquired from Detroit in exchange for Richard Hamilton, went 6-for-17 from the field.

"There wasn't any chemistry,'' Jordan said. "For us to come out in the first game and expect to have everything clicking is kind of far-fetched.''

Carter had eight points, including an impressive fadeaway jumper after spinning around his defender, as Toronto took a 18-11 lead in the first quarter with Jordan on the bench.

Jordan entered with 3:50 left in the first quarter and
immediately stole Peterson's pass, but Washington didn't score on
the possession because of Stackhouse's turnover.

Stackhouse later shot an airball after another pass from Jordan.

"We were all out of sync,'' Stackhouse said.

The Wizards shot 25 percent in the first quarter as the Raptors
led 20-14.

After Jordan made his first shot of the gave early in the
second, the Raptors went on a 14-0 run as Peterson scored seven
points and the Wizards went almost five minutes without scoring.

"We were terrible,'' Collins said. "Our screening was poor and our shot selection was very poor.''

Jordan scored all eight of his points in the second quarter as the Wizards cut Toronto's lead to eight at halftime.

Game notes
After Charles Oakley complained before the game that his
locker wasn't near the TV, Jordan told rookie Jared Jefferies to
switch lockers with Oakley. ... With reporters huddled around
Oakley's locker, the former Raptor took a jab at Toronto coach
Lenny Wilkens: "The crowd should be in Lenny's office asking how
he got that deal,'' he said. Wilkens has two years and $10 million
left on his four-year deal. ... Seven of the Washington's next 10
games are against last season's playoff teams. ... NBA deputy
commissioner Russ Granik attended the game.

Comments

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • adidas Youth Washington Wizards John Wall #2 Road Red Replica JerseyShop

  • adidas Originals Men's Toronto Raptors Vince Carter #15 Purple Throwback Swingman JerseyPrice: $110.00 Shop