National Basketball Association

Wizards cruise

Published: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2003 at 2:00 a.m.
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Washington Wizards guard Michael Jordan looks for an opening over Orlando Magic guard Tracy McGrady during the first quarter of their game at the MCI Center in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2003. Jordan scored 20 points in the first quarter of the game and helped his team beat the Magic, 108-93.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh



  • Orlando's Grant Hill played 12 minutes, all in the first half, before leaving with more soreness in his bothersome left ankle.

  • WASHINGTON - Michael Jordan provided the spectacular start. A trio of young teammates did the rest.
    Jordan scored 28 of his 32 points in the first half Thursday night, and the Washington Wizards pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Orlando Magic 108-93.
    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 its worst game of the season, an 84-75 home loss to undermanned Toronto on Tuesday.
    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.
    Larry Hughes, Brendan Haywood and Kwame Brown keyed the Wizards' stretch run, scoring 23 of Washington's 34 fourth-quarter points.
    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.
    Jordan was 12-for-25 from the field, but just 2-for-7 in the second half. He is 5-for-19 in the second halves of his last two games. He did have five of his eight assists in the fourth quarter.
    The Wizards played their second game without leading scorer Jerry Stackhouse, who has a pulled left groin. The Magic have lost four of their last five.
    Jordan, seemingly to 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.
    The Wizards committed only one turnover in the 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.

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