Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 11/6

Game 1: Wednesday, November 6th
Game 2: Saturday, November 9th
Game 3: Tuesday, February 4th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 8th

Cavaliers 84

(9-40, 3-24 away)

Wizards 93

(24-25, 17-10 home)

    7:00 PM ET, February 4, 2003

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    CLE 29 16 21 1884
    WSH 31 21 18 2393

    Top Performers

    Cleveland: Z. Ilgauskas 18 Pts, 11 Reb, 2 Ast

    Washington: M. Jordan 27 Pts, 4 Reb, 8 Ast, 4 Stl, 1 Blk

    Jordan adds eight assists to go with 27 points

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The All-Star break comes at the right time for Michael Jordan, who is piling on the minutes and the points with Jerry Stackhouse out of the lineup.

     Michael Jordan

    Jordan, two weeks shy of his 40th birthday, scored 27 points in 43 minutes Tuesday night as the Washington Wizards beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 93-84.

    "This is one of the toughest games, when you know you've got seven days off after that," Jordan said. "Guys are thinking about spending time with their families. It's tough, but we had to gut it out."

    Stackhouse, the Wizards' leading scorer, missed his second straight game with a groin injury. On Saturday, he watched as Jordan scored 45 points in 44 minutes in a victory over New Orleans.

    The All-Star layoff time means Stackhouse should be back next week when the Wizards resume play at Sacramento, relieving Jordan of a big chunk of the workload.

    "We want to get Jerry back healthy and get a complete team together," said coach Doug Collins, whose team enters the break in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. "Let's see what we can do."

    Despite constant double-teams, Jordan made 13-of-26 shots and had eight assists as the Wizards held off a stubborn challenge by the NBA's worst team. Neither team led by double digits until the final two minutes, even though starting Cleveland point guard Smush Parker sprained his right ankle on a layup in the first quarter and did not return.

    Dajuan Wagner scored 19 points, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have lost four straight overall and seven in a row on the road. Cleveland wasted a 50-36 rebound advantage with 22 turnovers, including several unforced sloppy passes out of bounds.

    The Wizards scored 31 points -- exactly one-third of their total -- off turnovers.

    "Usually we'd come into a game like this and lose by 30 or 40," said Darius Miles, who scored 13 points. "Now we're disciplined, and we're in the game. We'll make our mistakes while we're young."

    As he did on Saturday, Jordan worked himself free using screens and a variety of fadeaways over double teams. He leaped backward to gain separation for back-to-back jumpers around the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter to slow Cleveland's momentum not long after the Cavaliers cut a six-point lead to one.

    He was also able to find the open man out of the double-teams when necessary.

    "I was able to move the ball a lot easier in the fourth quarter because everybody was trying to shut me down in the second half," Jordan said.

    Cleveland then went more than four minutes without scoring, and the Wizards went up by 10 with a minute remaining.

    Jordan started off fast again, scoring Washington's first three baskets, getting an assist on the fourth and drawing two fouls on Miles in the first three minutes. Jordan had 11 points in the period, and Byron Russell went 4-for-4, but the Wizards blew a seven-point lead and were up just 31-29 at the end of the quarter.

    Ilgauskas scored 10 in the second quarter as the Cavaliers built a huge rebound advantage, but Jordan's feed to Etan Thomas for a dunk helped Washington end the period with a 6-0 run and a 52-45 lead at the half.

    The Cavaliers opened the second half with a 7-0 run to tie the game, but the Wizards responded with a 10-2 spurt to go up 62-54. Miles, who hadn't scored since the first quarter, got going again with a pair of layups as Cleveland pulled within four, 70-66, to start the fourth quarter.

    While the Wizards went into break with needed momentum, the Cavaliers have downsized their goals.

    "Obviously we're not going anywhere this season," Ilgauskas said. "But we don't want to lose every game, too. Hopefully we can get some wins after the break."

    Game notes
    Washington's Larry Hughes, who missed the New Orleans game with a bruised knee, returned and played 19 minutes off the bench. ... The Wizards are 3-0 against the Cavaliers this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 93
    FGM-FGA 33-77 (.429) 36-81 (.444)
    3PM-3PA 4-11 (.364) 6-12 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 14-20 (.700) 15-20 (.750)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 16-50 9-36
    Assists 18 23
    Turnovers 22 13
    Steals 10 11
    Blocks 1 7
    Fast Break Points 6 2
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (1/0) 16 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    Zydrunas Ilgauskas Ilgauskas
    Points: 18
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Michael Jordan Jordan
    Points: 27
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 4
    Blk: 1