Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 12/3

Game 1: Tuesday, December 3rd
Game 2: Thursday, January 30th
Game 3: Friday, March 7th

Bucks 78

(8-9, 2-7 away)

Wizards 103

(7-10, 6-4 home)

    7:00 PM ET, December 3, 2002

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 23 16 18 2178
    WSH 24 32 25 22103

    Top Performers

    Mil: T. Thomas 17 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    WSH: M. Jordan 25 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Ast

    Jordan and Russell power Wizards past hurting Bucks

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Trading spaces worked for Michael Jordan and Bryon Russell, who together ran off 27 consecutive points to help end the Washington Wizards' six-game losing streak.

    Michael Jordan

    The final shot: What will be MJ's final memory?

    Jordan scored 25 points in his second game as a starter, and the man he replaced in the lineup, Russell, matched his season-high with 16 points in a 103-78 rout of the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.

    ''We've been stinking it up,'' Russell said. ''But I think we're going to have a good month. I told the team, 'I feel like we're only going to lose three or four games this month.' ''

    Etan Thomas matched a career-high with 14 points and had seven rebounds for the Wizards as coach Doug Collins relied on veterans early but used his bench extensively. Jordan played 30 minutes in the one-sided game and sat down for good early in the fourth quarter.

    ''It's just one of those games where we really needed a win,'' Jordan said. ''Milwaukee was not healthy, so we've got to attack, attack, attack. I tried to carry that mentality.''

    Tim Thomas scored a season-high 17 points for the Bucks, who played without Ray Allen and Toni Kukoc. Milwaukee, one of the best shooting teams in the league, shot just 37 percent. Michael Redd was 6-for-16 from the field, Sam Cassell was 3-for-12, Anthony Mason was 2-for-7, and Jason Caffey was 1-for-8.

    ''I had a bad game,'' Cassell said. ''With us being short-handed, teams definitely are playing me differently. They're not going to allow me to have open looks like I'm used to getting. A lot of my things I've got to create for myself.''

    Last week, Russell asked to be removed from the starting lineup because his minutes were getting squeezed by Jordan's early entry off the bench. With their roles reversed, both looked more comfortable -- and they teamed up for the run that gave the Wizards the lead for good.

    Jordan and Russell scored 27 consecutive Wizards points from the final minute of the first quarter through the first seven minutes of the second quarter, including all the points in a 16-5 run that put Washington ahead 42-29. Jordan scored 15 points in the second quarter, and Russell went 4-for-4 with nine points.

    ''It's a change,'' Russell said. ''Tonight was a night we needed someone to step up other than our starters. For us to win, we've got to have more than our starters scoring. I just came out being aggressive.''

    By halftime, the score was 56-39. The Bucks never got closer than 12 in the second half.

    ''We allowed (Jordan) to do whatever he wanted to,'' Cassell said. ''If you don't challenge a guy like that, he'll eat you alive.''

    The Bucks played their fifth game without Allen, who has a sprained right ankle, and their first without Kukoc, who had thumb surgery Monday and is expected to miss up to six weeks.

    Allen is eligible to come off the injured list for the game Thursday at Atlanta, but he has yet to resume practicing. Coach George Karl said he'll get a gauge on Allen's status at practice Wednesday.

    ''We got a break tonight, let's face it,'' Collins said. ''Toni Kukoc is hurt. Ray Allen is out. And the heart and soul of that team is Sam Cassell, and he had an off night.''

    Game notes

    A day late, the Wizards marked the fifth anniversary of the MCI Center, which opened Dec. 2, 1997. Washington won its first eight games in its new building, but the overall record has since dropped to 94-100. ... Wizards forward Christian Laettner scored nine points to reach the 10,000 mark for his career. Laettner started in place of Kwame Brown, who was a reserve for the first time this season. ... Cassell and Thomas were both called for technical fouls -- Thomas for shoving Charles Oakley -- as the Bucks fell to 2-7 on the road. ... The Bucks are 2-3 since Allen was injured. ... Milwaukee's 78 points were a season-low.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 103
    FGM-FGA 31-83 (.373) 38-82 (.463)
    3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 3-9 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 14-20 (.700) 24-33 (.727)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-40 14-54
    Assists 19 25
    Turnovers 13 13
    Steals 9 4
    Blocks 4 8
    Fast Break Points 2 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (2/0) 20 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Tim Thomas Thomas
    Points: 17
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0
    Michael Jordan Jordan
    Points: 25
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0