WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Michael Jordan rule of thumb: It takes two
good games to shake off a really bad one.
After matching his career-low of two points at Toronto on
Sunday, Jordan has scored season highs on back-to-back nights. He
followed his 30-point game at Atlanta on Tuesday with 33 in
Wednesday night's 118-100 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Michael Jordan shoots over Memphis' Drew Gooden, right, during the first quarter on Wednesday night.
"When I score two points, everybody looks at it like I'm losing
a step or I'm 50 years old or whatever," said Jordan, who is
actually 39. "That attacks the competitive juices in me, so the
reverse has to happen the next couple of games."
It also happened last season, when Jordan followed a six-point
performance -- ending a streak of 866 double-digit games -- with 51
and 45 and announced: "I can still play this game."
"Most of the people came to watch me play the game of
basketball because of the unknown," said Jordan, who made 14 of 23
shots against the Grizzlies. "On a given night, I could score 51.
On another night, I may not get to that. You never know."
Jordan took over the game early, scoring 18 in the first quarter
as the Wizards coasted to their third straight win. He had a rhythm
to his jump shot all game, and it was all jumpers when he scored
nine points in a 13-6 run that put the Wizards up 32-22 at the end
of the first quarter.
"No, I ain't seen nothing like that," Grizzlies rookie Drew
Gooden said. "I ain't seen nothing like that in I don't know how
long, but he was on. It seemed like every time he shot it was going
The Wizards had a season-high in points and shot a season-best
62 percent while avenging one of their most embarrassing losses of
the season. Their 85-74 defeat at Memphis on Nov. 23 was the
Grizzlies' first win after an 0-13 start.
"Sure," said Jordan, smiling when asked if revenge had been on
his mind. "We wanted to give extra focus to get that game back."
Jerry Stackhouse added 25 points and seven assists for the
Wizards. Brendan Haywood had 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Kwame
Brown had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
His teammates kept it going when Jordan sat down at the start of
the second quarter, extending the lead to 23. Youngsters Haywood
and Brown were a force inside on the same night, a rarity this
The lead was 67-46 at the half, with Jordan dribbling down the
clock to make a 19-footer. The Wizards shot 64 percent for the
half, making 17 of 20 shots over one stretch.
The Grizzlies never got closer than 13 in the second half.
Jordan downplayed the Wizards' three-game winning streak, noting
that it came against teams with losing records. A tough two-game
road trip to Texas awaits.
"If you look at the teams that we've played, we're supposed to
take care of those teams," Jordan said. "We went out and did what
we're supposed to. If we come out and play with the same attitude
in San Antonio and Dallas, then I think we're on the way."
Game notes The 67 points was the most in a half this season by the
Wizards, and it was the most allowed in a half by the Grizzlies.
... Washington made 18 of 19 free throws and outrebounded Memphis
37-25. ... Asked if he's tempted to join Robert Johnson with the
new expansion franchise in charlotte, Jordan said: "No. My
obligations have been here. I haven't entertained any other
positions in any other situations in Charlotte. My responsibility's
always been to the Wizards, and that's the way it's going to stay."