"It took me a whole quarter just to understand what his
tendencies are, and how I could take his rhythm away," Jordan
said. "We wanted to shut him down as much as possible and make the
other guys hurt us."
Richard Hamilton scored 27 points and Jordan added 21 as
Washington matched its longest winning streak since a six-game run
from Dec. 15-26, 1997.
Chris Whitney made three big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to
help send Toronto to its fourth straight loss.
"Just Jordan's presence on the floor got Chris Whitney two wide
open 3-pointers for us to break that game open," Washington coach
Doug Collins said.
The Raptors, who held their big lead in the first quarter, have
lost six of seven.
Carter had 23 points in the first half before Jordan denied him
the ball in the third quarter. Carter took just four shots in the
"Michael withstood that 19 point flourish early, and came in
and locked in," Collins said. "Michael didn't run away from a
defensive challenge, and that's why he's the best."
Hamilton, who has been outscoring Jordan during Washington's
wining streak, scored 11 points in the third quarter as the Wizards
outscored Toronto 27-16.
Collins asked Jordan to guard Carter because Hamilton became
frustrated when he had to guard Carter in the preseason.
"In the preseason Hamilton guarded Vince, and Vince had 27 in
the first half and Hamilton had nothing, and it really messed with
Hamilton," Collins said. "I asked Michael before the game 'Will
you guard Vince?', so that will free up Hamilton to be more
offensive minded. Michael said, 'Not a problem.' "
Whitney's 3-pointer with 10:29 left in the fourth quarter gave
Washington an eight-point lead.
Alvin Williams later narrowed Washington's lead to three with a
layup, but Whitney followed with a 3-pointer with 3:32 remaining.
Toronto's Hakeem Olajuwon fouled Brendan Haywood on the play, and
Haywood made his free throw, giving Washington a 86-79 lead.
Whitney then hit another 3-pointer to make it a 10-point lead
with 3:02 remaining.
Hamilton credited Jordan for the victory.
"Vince hit a lot of great shots in the first quarter, but
Michael did an excellent job on him," Hamilton said. "He's one of
the greatest defenders in the game."
Carter scored 19 points as the Raptors took their early 19-point
lead. Washington followed with a 17-1 run with Jordan on the bench,
holding Toronto without a basket for more than six minutes.
"There is no reason to panic," said Carter, whose team will
hold a players only meeting Monday morning. "We did not make
shots, we didn't run, and we didn't communicate. They did a lot of
things well and we didn't have an answer."
Carter, guarded by Jordan, went 4-for-5 from behind the arc
in the first quarter. ... Washington's Popeye Jones started in
place of injured Christian Laettner. Collins was going to start
rookie Kwame Brown, but Jordan asked Collins to start Jones
instead. ... Toronto's Antonio Davis returned to the lineup after
missing five games with a sore left knee.