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Jordan passes Wilt, but Hornets blow past Wiz

1/24/2003

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Jamal Mashburn's success against Michael
Jordan on both ends of the court helped the New Orleans Hornets get
their third straight victory and spoil a milestone night for
Jordan.

Mashburn scored 24 points while holding Jordan to 1-for-7
shooting in the second half as the Hornets defeated the Washington
Wizards 103-94 Wednesday night.

"We were trying to give (Jordan) no open looks to the basket,
but he's still an exceptional player,'' Mashburn said. "He can
still make plays.''

With 16 first-half points, Jordan finished with 18 and surpassed
Wilt Chamberlain as the NBA's third all-time scorer. He passed
Chamberlain's total of 31,419 points with a minute left in the
first half when he dribbled laterally with his back to the basket
and drilled a fallaway jump shot from the right elbow.

But Jordan would score only four points the rest of the way, and
his team fell behind by as many as 22 before rallying in the fourth
period to keep from getting blown out.

Jordan downplayed his scoring mark.

"It summarizes the effort I've given throughout my career. But
the thing about stats is they define you when you're 10 or 20 years
past the game,'' Jordan said. "While you're playing, what matters
is wins ... Their defense really kind of got us baffled in the
second half and we were not able to get into the rhythm we wanted
to get into.''

Wizards coach Doug Collins said he felt some of Jordan's shots
were makable.

"He just missed them,'' Collins said.

Jamaal Magloire scored 16 and grabbed 14 rebounds for New
Orleans. David Wesley scored 19, hitting four 3-pointers, while
Baron Davis finished with 14, including a 3-pointer that gave New
Orleans an 80-58 lead in the third quarter.

Pushing the ball up the floor as hard as they have all season,
the Hornets scored 29 points on the fast break, compared to 10 for
Washington.

"I think that's huge,'' Wesley said. "That's also a big part
of a lot of people being involved. If you can get out and run, a
lot of people are going to get the opportunity to get layups and
3-pointers off the break. I think that's been a key point in our
last three wins.''

Jerry Stackhouse, who returned after missing four games with a
groin pull, led Washington with 26 points and helped get Washington
within striking distance early in the fourth.

Etan Thomas hit a pair of free throws to bring the Wizards
within 91-81 with about eight minutes to go. But Davis responded
with a jumper and Wesley found Magloire for a reverse jam to finish
a fast break and push the lead to 14. Washington never got closer
than nine after that.

"We knew coming in fast breaking was going to be a big problem
and they just ran the ball at us,'' Collins said. "We couldn't
stop them when we had to. This team here is very powerful. We
haven't had any team play better against us than they did
tonight.''

Larry Hughes added 14 for Washington.

New Orleans outrebounded Washington 46-32. Its short win streak
has come after a 3-13 stretch that ended with five straight losses.

"As long as we're pushing the ball and rebounding we're going
to be OK,'' Hornets coach Paul Silas said.

Charles Oakley and P.J. Brown were ejected in the final minute
of the third quarter after wrestling each other to the floor while
fighting for a rebound. Both players' teammates rushed to break up
the scuffle, the hostilities quickly ceased and the game proceeded
with no further flareups.

After taking a 58-49 halftime lead, the Hornets used an 11-2 run
to take 75-56 lead. Wesley had a 3-pointer and jump shot during the
run, while Davis had a layup and Mashburn capped it with a couple
of free throws.

New Orleans took a 25-14 lead midway through the first quarter
when Wesley hit a pair of 3-pointers and converted a steal by Davis
into a fast-break layup as part of a 13-0 run.

Washington responded with a 12-1 run that included a 3-pointer
by Stackhouse, a fast-break layup by Jordan and a 15-foot jumper by
Jordan to tie the game at 26.

Game notes
Star power has brought out the best crowds of the season
for the Hornets. Announced attendance was 18,298 with Jordan the
major draw Wednesday night. That was second only to last week's
crowd of 18,509 when the Lakers were in town. The Hornets list
capacity for the New Orleans Arena at 17,200, but standing room
only ticket sales have brought attendance above that several times
this season.