Jerry Stackhouse has experienced a bizarre NBA career.
Stackhouse had 37 points on Monday night in a 100-95 victory
over the Boston Celtics as the Wizards won their fourth straight
game -- their longest winning streak of the season. They haven't
lost since New Year's Eve, when Stackhouse made a resolution to
spend more time bonding with his new teammates.
"To spend some time away from basketball has definitely been
good for us,'' said Stackhouse, who was traded to Washington in
September after 4½ years with the Detroit Pistons. "These things
go a long way to build a team.''
Michael Jordan converted a three-point play with 32.8 seconds
left for his only points of the fourth quarter, and the Wizards
improved to .500 (17-17) for the first time since Nov. 22.
"The team is starting to look like a team,'' said Jordan, who
also had 11 rebounds and seven assists as he took over as point
guard in the fourth. "There's so many ways I can help the team.
It's not just scoring.''
Stackhouse thinks part of the secret is team bonding. Ever since
the team's Christmas party, he said, players have spent more time
together away from basketball, getting together after practice or
going to dinner in groups of three or four.
"When I was in Detroit, everybody did it,'' he said. "It's not
something you force guys to do. Guys have to want to be part of a
team. That's what you're seeing.''
Boston took its final lead, 95-93, on two free throws by Tony
Battie with 1:02 left. But Jordan got Eric Williams turned around
to the right of the basket before putting up a soft jumper and
drawing the foul.
"It was a heartbreaking loss,'' said Paul Pierce, who led
Boston with 30 points. "It hurts because it's a game we felt like
we should have won.''
Jordan was coming off a season-high 41 points in a victory over
Indiana, a performance that helped him earn NBA player of the week
honors for the first time since coming out of retirement last
season. He had 16 points through three quarters but hadn't scored
in the fourth as the teams swapped leads eight times, with two
The Celtics led 89-82 with 6:48 left in the game, but Stackhouse
scored 13 of the Wizards' final 18 points to seal the victory.
The Celtics had been waiting for a rematch ever since Halloween,
when they lost their second game of the season in Washington 114-69
-- the worst loss in the storied franchise's history.
Battie, who returned to the starting lineup after missing two
games with a sore knee, had 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Boston led by as many as 10 points in the third quarter and led
63-55 with 4:29 left before Washington scored the next 11 points.
C Mikki Moore, who signed a 10-day contract with Boston on
Monday, did not play. ... Antoine Walker was called for a technical
foul for complaining about the officiating in the first half. ...
Pierce and Celtics coach Jim O'Brien were called for technicals in
the final seconds of the half after reacting to a hard foul by
Stackhouse. ... Wizards assistant coach Patrick Ewing was honored
at halftime and given a piece of the old parquet floor.