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MJ now 4-0 against his former team

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michael Jordan was weary from a stomach bug,
so Christian Laettner and Larry Hughes finished off the Chicago
Bulls.

Laettner had season-highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds,
including eight points in the fourth quarter, and Hughes had 22
points as the Washington Wizards beat the Bulls 101-98 Wednesday
night.

Jordan, playing with a mild virus that caused him to leave the
morning shootaround early, had 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven
assists in 33 minutes, but most of the points came at the start of
the third quarter when the Wizards turned an 11-point halftime
deficit into an 11-point lead.

Jordan was 0-for-3 in the final quarter, even as the Bulls cut
their deficit to one point four times.

"When you're feeling bad, you just try to figure out what can
you get by with," Jordan said. "In the first half, I didn't
really have the energy to try to ignite anything. And I got into
foul trouble early, so that kind of makes you tentative."

The Wizards have won five straight and are above .500 for the
first time since Nov. 17. Jordan is now 4-0 when playing against
his former team; he was injured when the Wizards had their only
loss to the Bulls last season.

The Wizards also survived a bad night from Jerry Stackhouse, who
missed 12 of 14 shots and scored 10 points. Laettner and Hughes
made up the difference.

"All my teammates and coaches are always barking at me to shoot
the ball more, so I tell them I will when I feel like I'm open,"
said Laettner, who was 7-for-9. "In the fourth quarter, people are
going to collapse on Stackhouse or Jordan even more, and if I step
away and shoot my 18-foot jumper, I'm wide open. There was no
reason for me not to shoot tonight. I was feeling good out there."

Donyell Marshall had 24 points and nine rebounds for the Bulls,
who had their two-game winning streak snapped and lost their 15th
straight on the road. Jamal Crawford and Eddy Curry had 15 points
apiece.

The self-proclaimed culprit for the Bulls was Jalen Rose, who
was 4-for-17 with 10 points and scored just one point in the second
half.

"My team played the way they're capable of playing," Rose
said. "Unfortunately, I didn't step up and play the way I am
capable of playing. This is the first time this season where I had
that opportunity in the fourth quarter, and the shots didn't go in
for me."

The Bulls kept rallying in the fourth quarter, but they never
took the lead. Laettner's jump shot put the Wizards up 95-92 with
1:27. Crawford's driving layup made it 95-94, but Hughes' running
one-hander on the baseline got the lead to three with 18 seconds
left.

Rose made one of two free throws with 16 seconds to go, creating
the opening the Wizards needed. Stackhouse then made two free
throws with 15 seconds left to make the lead four points, enough to
seal the victory.

The Wizards were youth-heavy in the first half. Hughes and Kwame
Brown each had a 10-point scoring streak in the first quarter, and
Etan Thomas scored 11 in the second quarter. Brown had all 16 of
his points in the first half.

But the Bulls were also fired up. They moved the ball well and
shot 56 percent in the half, holding the Wizards without a field
goal for the final 5:17.

The Wizards trailed 59-48 at halftime, and Jordan came out of
the locker room as if it were his personal mission not to lose. He
scored Washington's first eight points and led his team to a
season-high 36-point quarter and an 84-73 lead going into the
fourth.

But the Bulls opened the final period with a 13-3 run to cut the
lead to one, setting up the tight finish.

Game notes
Jay Williams returned for the Bulls after missing one game
with a sprained ankle. He did not score and had five assists in 21
minutes. ... The Wizards have scored 100-plus points for five
straight games and are 13-0 when breaking the century mark. ... The
Bulls' 59 first-half points were the most allowed in the first half
by the Wizards this season. ... Jordan and Rose were called for
double technicals in the final minute as they jockeyed for position
on an inbounds pass.

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