6:00 PM ET, March 23, 2003
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, CA
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Gilbert Arenas heaved the ball heaved the ball high and deep into the stands in a display of absolute joy.
Michael Jordan worked up a sweat against the Warriors, but his hard work couldn't lift Washington to a win.
What a time for a career performance -- on the night of Michael Jordan's last game in Oakland, no less.
Arenas scored a career-high 41 points and Antawn Jamison added 37 points and 11 rebounds as Golden State defeated the Washington Wizards 113-107 Sunday night.
"Right now it's just a win for us,'' Arenas said. "In the summer, probably two or three years from now when everything has died down, you're always going to have that tape. And that's the tape you watch and think 'That's the last game I played against him and this is what I've done.'''
Jordan missed two shots down the stretch, committed a turnover with 22 seconds left and was held scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting in the fourth quarter, finishing with 24 points and five rebounds before a sellout crowd of 20,149.
The Wizards dropped 1½ games behind idle Milwaukee for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Golden State, looking to make the postseason for the first time in nine years, pulled within 2½ games of Houston and Phoenix for the last spot in the West.
"To win a game when two teams are fighting, scratching and clawing, and when you don't play well for the first half of the game, but you still find a way to win, it's really a credit to the guys,'' Warriors coach Eric Musselman said.
Arenas shot 15-for-23 and had four of his team's 10 3-pointers to top his previous career high of 37 set Feb. 11 at Atlanta. Jamison also made four 3s.
"It's just transition. We didn't get to our man,'' Jordan said. "They started shooting 3s all over the place and making 3s. If you go down and don't have a good offensive set or rhythm and you find you're taking shots out of rhythm, the defensive transition is going to make it tough to get back to a man. That really let us down.''
The Wizards had been 20-1 when scoring 100 or more, but struggled to hit shots in the final minutes. Jerry Stackhouse had 18 points and 10 assists for Washington, which shot 48 percent.
Washington lost its 12th road game in the last 14. The Wizards play 10 of their final 14 games away from home.
"We had this game in hand and didn't let our defense work for us,'' Washington coach Doug Collins said. "We tried to win it offensively.''
The Wizards missed their first five shots in the fourth, and Arenas made a 3 with 8:22 left to tie the game at 93. Arenas' 3-pointer followed by Bobby Sura's three-point play a minute later made it 104-101, and Jamison hit a 3 with 3:08 left for a 107-101 lead.
Jordan entertained from early in the game.
He made his first basket with 4:31 left in the first quarter, and he hit a 3-pointer four minutes later for his first 3 since Jan. 4 against the Indiana Pacers. It broke an 0-for-18 slump from long range, though he didn't attempt a 3 in all of February.
Jordan was whistled for a technical with 8:09 left in the third after being called for traveling and then following official Leon Wood downcourt to argue.
Later in the third quarter, guarded by rookie Mike Dunleavy, Jordan reached his right arm out with the ball in his hand and held it around in front of Dunleavy as a form of taunting. He ended up turning it over, with Jamison getting control.
He made two jumpers in 22 seconds to give Washington its biggest lead, 83-69, with 7:15 remaining in the third, but the Warriors stayed in the game behind big baskets from Arenas and Jamison in a 19-6 run.
Arenas connected on his first seven shots and even made another but was called for an offensive foul to wipe it out. He first missed with 9:52 remaining in the second quarter.
Golden State started the game 13-of-19 and shot 60 percent in the first quarter, but Washington's bench outscored Golden State's reserves 24-5 in the second period to build a 68-63 halftime lead.
The Wizards' 68 points were their most for a half this season, topping their 67 against Memphis on Dec. 18.
Wizards F Charles Oakley missed his second straight game with a sore right knee. He was kicked during last Tuesday's game at Detroit and the swelling has since become worse. ... Jordan received a minute-long standing ovation when he was introduced. Before the game and during breaks, Jordan highlights were played on the main scoreboard. "Obviously people are going to come to watch Jordan in his last game here, but also there's a lot of enthusiasm for the way we play ball,'' Musselman said.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||46-95 (.484)||42-86 (.488)|
|3PM-3PA||3-8 (.375)||10-22 (.455)|
|FTM-FTA||12-16 (.750)||19-26 (.731)|
|Fast Break Points||5||6|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||21 (2/0)||16 (1/0)|