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Jordan's 20 points in second half lift Wiz

2/7/2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Round 2 of Vince Carter vs. Michael Jordan
looked a lot like Round 1. Carter was dominant early, but Jordan
came up big when it mattered.

Jordan, shut down by foul trouble and Carter's tenacious defense
in the first half, scored 20 of his 23 points after halftime as the
Washington Wizards beat the Toronto Raptors 99-94 Tuesday night.

"Michael is the ultimate competitor," Washington coach Doug
Collins said. "He got the two fouls early, didn't have a great
first half, but he came back. I could just sense in the fourth
quarter he was going to will us to another victory."

Carter scored 29 points in losing his second bout with Jordan
this season, and once again he dried up late. Carter had 23 points
but did not score in the second half when the Raptors lost to the
Wizards 93-88 in Toronto in December.

This time, Carter scored just four points on 1-for-5 shooting in
the fourth quarter, negating a good defensive effort in which he
fought through screen after screen to frustrate Jordan much of the
evening.

"He's trying to do what he needs to do for his team, and I'm
trying to do what I need to do for my team," said Carter, who
played 42 minutes on top of the 48 he played in a victory at
Philadelphia the night before. "He came out on top tonight."

Jordan was 1-for-5 in the first half, but he finished 10-for-21
with seven rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes. Richard
Hamilton added 16 points, and Chris Whitney and Popeye Jones scored
14 apiece for the Wizards. Whitney made all four of his 3-point
attempts, and Jones made the clinching 22-footer off Jordan's
assist with 9.1 seconds remaining.

The Wizards have won four straight and six of seven. They are an
improbable four games above .500 with one game to go before the
All-Star break.

"One thing you don't want to do is wake up too quick," Jordan
said. "We just want to keep dreaming and hopefully you don't wake
up. And when the time comes that you do wake up, you've surprised
everybody and it's well worth the dream.

"Sure I have high expectations, but we're just fulfilling
short-term goals and when it adds up at the end of the year,
hopefully it's a better picture than what we envisioned."

While Jordan and Carter were the headliners, the unsung heroes
were the Wizards who pounded the boards. Washington had a 22-3 edge
in offensive rebounds and a 50-27 overall rebound advantage,
canceling Toronto's 53-45 edge in shooting percentage. The Wizards
had been 0-10 when the opposition shot better than 50 percent.

Jahidi White had seven offensive and seven defensive rebounds to
go with eight points and three steals.

"We had Rip and Mike out there to give us the points," White
said. "And we just had to focus on the boards."

Chris Childs, making his first start of the season, had nine
points and a season-high 11 assists for the Raptors, who had won
four of five.

With Carter briefly out of the game, Jordan made the go-ahead
basket with a 14-foot jumper over Childs with 4:33 to play,
starting an 8-0 run that made the score 93-86 with 2:27 remaining.
Hamilton finished the run with a 19-foot runner just before the
shot clock buzzer.

Jordan picked up two fouls 11 seconds apart in the first
quarter, sending him to the bench just five minutes into the game.
The Wizards held their own without him, and it was after he
returned in the second quarter that the Raptors got their first
lead with a 9-0 run that included two jumpers from Carter.

The Raptors led 51-46 at halftime, and Jordan got going with 10
points in a streaky third quarter that included a 7-0 run by the
Wizards and a 9-0 spurt by the Raptors. The score was tied at 75
when Washington's Courtney Alexander hit a jump shot just before
the third-quarter buzzer.

Game notes
Washington's Hubert Davis missed his fourth consecutive
game because of the flu. Coach Doug Collins said Davis might not
return until next week. ... New Redskins coach Steve Spurrier
attended his first Wizards game and was cheered when he appeared on
the huge replay screen. No, he wasn't wearing a visor. ...
Toronto's Alvin Williams, who had not missed a free throw since
Christmas Day, had his streak of 32 in a row end when he missed a
pair in the third quarter. ... The Wizards' 22 offensive rebounds
was a season-high. Their 27 total rebounds allowed was a
season-low.