Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/6

Game 1: Friday, December 6th
Game 2: Monday, December 30th
Game 3: Thursday, January 16th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 11th

Magic 93

(20-21, 8-13 away)

Wizards 108

(20-19, 13-8 home)

    7:30 PM ET, January 16, 2003

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 22 27 22 2293
    WSH 38 17 19 34108

    Top Performers

    Orl: T. McGrady 31 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    WSH: M. Jordan 32 Pts, 6 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl

    Jordan scores 28 of his 32 points in first half

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michael Jordan's 28 first-half points showed he can't win a game by himself. In fact, his teammates put together the decisive run while he was taking a rest.

    Tracy McGrady

    Tracy McGrady slams home two of his team-high 31 points.

    Jordan finished with 32, but it was Larry Hughes, Brendan Haywood and Kwame Brown who did all the scoring in the key 12-2 fourth-quarter run as the Washington Wizards beat the Orlando Magic 108-93 Thursday night.

    The Wizards recovered from their most embarrassing loss of the season and proved they can be competitive without injured leading scorer Jerry Stackhouse. Hughes and the front court combinations of Haywood, Brown, Christian Laettner and Etan Thomas more than compensated.

    "Our big men were responsible for that win tonight,'' coach Doug Collins said. "When they were trying to come over and help on Michael, our big guys did a good job of finding the open areas and finishing. We played as good a game as you could play without Jerry.''

    The Wizards beat the Magic for the first time in three meetings this season in a game between two .500 teams expected to battle for playoff position in April. Washington also recovered from a lifeless 84-75 home loss to undermanned Toronto on Tuesday.

    "We were really mad from the other night,'' said Laettner, who scored 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting. "We just regrouped. We realized this was a big game. We're both right there for playoff position.''

    Tracy McGrady scored 31 points for the Magic, who overcame a 16-point first-half deficit but fell apart with just one field goal in the first 4:59 of the final period.

    "When you play defense like that, you deserve to lose basketball games,'' Orlando coach Doc Rivers said. "They came to play.''

    The Magic, who have lost four of their last five, also played the second half without Grant Hill, who was again sidelined with a sore left ankle after playing just 12 minutes in the first half.

    Rivers said it might be time to give the six-time All-Star another extended rest.

    "He tried to go,'' Rivers said. "We could see early on, he was struggling moving, so we shut him down.''

    Hughes scored nine of his 22 points in the fourth. Haywood had five of his season-high 16 points, and Brown scored all of his nine points in the final period.

    Haywood's game came on the day that he was overlooked in favor of Chicago's Tyson Chandler on the rosters for the NBA's rookie-sophomore game during All-Star Weekend.

    "They just pick people randomly, huh?'' said Haywood, when told of Chandler's selection.

    Jordan was 12-for-25 from the field, but just 2-for-7 in the second half. He made up for it with five of his eight assists in the fourth quarter.

    Jordan, seemingly determined to compensate for his lumbering second-half performance on Tuesday, came out of the blocks like a one-man show. He scored 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting in the first quarter, capping the period with a pair of free throws after stealing the ball from Darrell Armstrong.

    "I thought it was one of those nights where he was going to get 50,'' McGrady said. "Thank God, he stopped shooting, spreading the ball around.''

    The Wizards committed only one turnover in the first period and led 38-22 on 62 percent shooting.

    The Magic started to come back while Jordan rested at the start of the second quarter, with McGrady leading an 11-2 run. McGrady later made one of two free throws to cut the lead to two.

    The halftime scores: Wizards over Magic 55-49, and Jordan over McGrady 28-16. Jordan also had two assists, but he would have had more if his post players could catch his deft passes out of double teams in the paint.

    The Magic opened the second half with a 9-3 run to tie the game and trailed 74-71 going into the fourth. But McGrady and Co. went cold, and Haywood's three-point play with 9:45 to go gave the Wizards a double-digit lead they never relinquished.

    Game notes

    Collins has been saying that Stackhouse will miss at least a week, but he said before the game it could very well be a month. Stackhouse will be re-examined Saturday. "We just don't know,'' Collins said. "That's how seasons change.'' ... The Wizards' 38 first-quarter points were the most they've scored in any quarter this season. ... The Wizards are 14-0 when scoring 100 points or more.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 108
    FGM-FGA 34-74 (.459) 43-84 (.512)
    3PM-3PA 6-16 (.375) 2-10 (.200)
    FTM-FTA 19-29 (.655) 20-25 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-36 19-43
    Assists 22 26
    Turnovers 13 9
    Steals 6 8
    Blocks 4 1
    Fast Break Points 3 4
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 23 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Tracy McGrady McGrady
    Points: 31
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Michael Jordan Jordan
    Points: 32
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 8
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0