Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 12/7

Game 1: Saturday, December 7th
Game 2: Saturday, January 11th
Game 3: Sunday, March 9th
Game 4: Monday, April 14th

Knicks 93

(37-44, 13-28 away)

Wizards 79

(37-44, 23-18 home)

    Coverage: MSG

    7:00 PM ET, April 14, 2003

    Verizon Center, Washington, DC

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 22 18 28 2593
    WSH 17 20 26 1679

    Top Performers

    NY: A. Houston 23 Pts, 2 Reb, 3 Ast

    WSH: M. Jordan 21 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

    MJ gets Pentagon flag, MCI Center days end in defeat

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The sting of losing, punctuated by some harsh words from the coach, overshadowed everything at Michael Jordan's final home game.

    Jordan received a U.S. flag from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and had some computers donated to public schools in his name, but coach Doug Collins ripped Jordan's Washington Wizards teammates following Monday's 93-79 loss to the New York Knicks.

    "I've had guys curse at me in the locker room this year, show no respect,'' Collins said. "It was insidious.''

    Collins paid tribute to Jordan for stepping in when other players showed disrespect. The coach also said there could be a roster purge this offseason of players who failed to show the proper regard for the coach. He didn't name any specific players.

    "It won't happen next year. Trust me. I treat people with dignity. I expect the same thing in return,'' Collins said.

    Jordan, who blasted his teammates' work ethic several times this season, supported Collins. He will get a chance to do something about it if he returns to the Wizards' front office after the season.

    "It's definitely a concern,'' Jordan said. "It's a thing we have to address.''

    Jordan had others reasons to be upset. His playing career is ending with a five-game home losing streak, and the Wizards, who finish their season Wednesday night at Philadelphia, will end up at least six games under .500.

    "Some people believe I prohibited this group from growing up,'' Jordan said. "I'm not buying that. Next year's going to be a test for some of these guys to understand at 40 years old what I gave to the game the last two years.''

    The other Wizards were blindsided by Collins' comments. Second-year player Kwame Brown, a major disappointment since being drafted No. 1 overall, was denying everything even before reporters could finish their questions.

    "No, that didn't happen. Didn't happen. I don't know what you're talking about,'' Brown said. "Problems between me and Doug? No, there's nothing there. He can't be talking about me because I never said that. I'm a straight shooter, I'll tell somebody if I felt that way.''

    Brown cursed at Collins during the Wizards' game at Phoenix on March 21.

    Nearly lost in all the post-game anxiety was the spectacle of Jordan's last home appearance.

    It started when Rumsfeld, who received a loud ovation, presented Jordan with a flag that flew over the Pentagon on the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The two shook hands and chatted briefly, and Jordan cradled the flag in his right hand with his head bowed as the national anthem played.

    Jordan received a mild pre-game ovation when the starting lineups were announced, then had 21 points and eight rebounds in 37 minutes. Allan Houston scored 23 points to lead the Knicks, who tied the Wizards for ninth place in the Eastern Conference.

    Jordan come out firing, taking nine shots in the first quarter, but he once again he couldn't make the difference on a team with uneven talent and questionable chemistry. In the fourth quarter, typically Jordan-time, he scored just two points and left the game for good with 2:02 to play.

    "Michael can't carry a subpar team to the playoffs at age 40,'' Collins said. "If Michael were 25, we would have made the playoffs. This team never mixed; it never fit.''

    As Jordan sat, the MCI Center crowd rose to its feet and cheered and chanted for 2 minutes, 45 seconds. Afterward, Wizards owner Abe Pollin donated 50 computers to each of Washington's 18 public high schools in Jordan's name.

    Jordan had tried not to make a big deal out of the game, saying beforehand it was "just another night.''

    "It seemed like more of a circus the last time we played them in New York,'' Houston said. "And that was on our home court.''

    Although he couldn't produce a winning record, Jordan brought national exposure and big profits to the Wizards, who shattered attendance records over the last two seasons. All 82 home games in the 20,000-seat arena were sellouts, averaging 5,000 more fans per game than in the season before Jordan returned.

    The last time Jordan played a home game that wasn't a sellout was Nov. 20, 1987, when he was with the Chicago Bulls.

    The Wizards presented a video tribute at halftime, showing a full range of highlights and emotions on and off the court from Jordan's 15-year career and six NBA titles.

    Game notes

    While it was Jordan's last home game for the Wizards, it wasn't his last game in a Wizards uniform. The Wizards wore their 1978 throwback Bullets uniforms for their last three home games; they lost all three. ... Rumsfeld stayed for the first half, watching the game from the front row sitting next to agent David Falk. ... Jerry Stackhouse returned to the Wizards' starting lineup after missing two games with tendinitis in his left knee, but he played only the first half before the knee flared up again. ... The Wizards have to win their last game to pass last season's victory total of 37.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 93 79
    FGM-FGA 38-77 (.494) 32-80 (.400)
    3PM-3PA 9-21 (.429) 5-11 (.455)
    FTM-FTA 8-9 (.889) 10-13 (.769)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-46 9-39
    Assists 25 21
    Turnovers 15 12
    Steals 7 6
    Blocks 3 2
    Fast Break Points 6 1
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 12 (0/0)

    Top Performers

    New York
    Allan Houston Houston
    Points: 23
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Michael Jordan Jordan
    Points: 21
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0