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NBA  FINAL            1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH  TOTAL
                      ---  ---  ---  ---  -----
     WASHINGTON       21   32   21   22    96   
     NEW YORK         26   30   26   15    97      FINAL

HIGH SCORERS:   WAS - MICHAEL JORDAN 39, LARRY HUGHES 13, JUAN
                      DIXON 13
                NYK - ALLAN HOUSTON 28, LATRELL SPREWELL 20, 
                      SHANDON ANDERSON 17

HIGH REBOUND:   WAS - BRENDAN HAYWOOD 9, MICHAEL JORDAN 8, 
                      CHRISTIAN LAETTNER 6
                NYK - CLARENCE WEATHERSPOON 9, OTHELLA 
                      HARRINGTON 9, KURT THOMAS 8

HIGH ASSISTS:   WAS - CHARLES OAKLEY 3, KWAME BROWN 3, LARRY 
                      HUGHES 2
                NYK - ALLAN HOUSTON 3, KURT THOMAS 3, HOWARD 
                      EISLEY 3

         ATT:   19,763

Box Score

WASHINGTON (96) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp C Laettner 22 1-5 2-2 0-6 1 5 4 J Stackhouse 30 1-7 3-4 1-4 1 5 5 B Haywood 21 2-8 4-4 6-9 1 0 8 L Hughes 33 5-12 3-5 0-2 2 3 13 M Jordan 43 13-22 13-15 1-8 1 3 39 B Russell 25 1-4 0-0 1-4 1 1 2 K Brown 28 3-4 3-4 3-4 3 2 9 C Oakley 20 1-1 1-2 0-3 3 2 3 J Dixon 18 6-11 0-3 2-3 1 2 13 J White DNP - COACH'S DECISION A Goldwire DNP - COACH'S DECISION B Simmons DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 33-74 29-39 14-43 14 23 96 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.446, FT-.744. 3-Point Goals: 1-8, .125 (L Hughes 0-2, B Russell 0-2, J Dixon 1-4). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots:3 (J Stackhouse, L Hughes, K Brown). Turnovers:11 (C Laettner 3, M Jordan 3, J Stackhouse 2, K Brown 2, L Hughes). Steals: 9 (B Russell 3, L Hughes 2, K Brown 2, C Laettner, M Jordan). NEW YORK (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp O Harrington 26 3-8 2-4 1-9 1 3 8 L Sprewell 46 6-18 6-8 2-6 2 6 20 K Thomas 35 2-9 0-0 3-8 3 4 4 H Eisley 27 3-4 0-0 0-1 3 2 8 A Houston 36 10-19 7-10 0-2 3 3 28 C Weatherspoon 24 0-1 4-4 5-9 1 2 4 S Anderson 20 5-9 5-6 2-4 2 5 17 C Ward 20 3-6 0-0 0-2 2 2 8 M Doleac 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 2 1 0 T Knight DNP - COACH'S DECISION L Nailon DNP - COACH'S DECISION F Williams DNP - COACH'S DECISION _____________________________________________________ TOTALS 240 32-74 24-32 13-41 19 28 97 _____________________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.432, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 9-22, .409 (L Sprewell 2-9, H Eisley 2-2, A Houston 1-3, S Anderson 2-4, C Ward 2-4). Team Rebounds: 12. Blocked Shots:4 (L Sprewell 2, K Thomas, O Harrington). Turnovers:15 (A Houston 4, C Weatherspoon 2, L Sprewell 2, H Eisley 2, M Doleac 2, C Ward, K Thomas, S Anderson). Steals: 6 (A Houston 2, C Ward, L Sprewell, K Thomas, S Anderson). ------------------------------------------- WASHINGTON 21 32 21 22 - 96 NEW YORK 26 30 26 15 - 97 ------------------------------------------- Technical fouls: Washington - 2 (Defensive Three, 10:06 2nd; C Oakley, 10:39 2nd). New York - 1 (K Thomas, 10:39 2nd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 19,763. T: 2:39. Officials: Don Vaden, Leroy Richardson, Tom Washington.


Extended Box

WASHINGTON (96) AT NEW YORK (97) WASHINGTON REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === C LAETTNER F 22 1-5 2-2 0 6 6 1 5 1 3 4 J STACKHOUSE F 30 1-7 3-4 1 3 4 1 5 0 2 5 B HAYWOOD C 21 2-8 4-4 6 3 9 1 0 0 0 8 L HUGHES G 33 5-12 3-5 0 2 2 2 3 2 1 13 M JORDAN G 43 13-22 13-15 1 7 8 1 3 1 3 39 B RUSSELL 25 1-4 0-0 1 3 4 1 1 3 0 2 K BROWN 28 3-4 3-4 3 1 4 3 2 2 2 9 C OAKLEY 20 1-1 1-2 0 3 3 3 2 0 0 3 J DIXON 18 6-11 0-3 2 1 3 1 2 0 0 13 J WHITE DNP - COACH'S DECISION A GOLDWIRE DNP - COACH'S DECISION B SIMMONS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 33-74 29-39 14 29 43 14 23 9 11 96 (.446) (.744) TEAM REBS: 5 TOTAL TO: 12 (16 PTS) NEW YORK REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == === O HARRINGTON F 26 3-8 2-4 1 8 9 1 3 0 0 8 L SPREWELL F 46 6-18 6-8 2 4 6 2 6 1 2 20 K THOMAS C 35 2-9 0-0 3 5 8 3 4 1 1 4 H EISLEY G 27 3-4 0-0 0 1 1 3 2 0 2 8 A HOUSTON G 36 10-19 7-10 0 2 2 3 3 2 4 28 C WEATHERSPOON 24 0-1 4-4 5 4 9 1 2 0 2 4 S ANDERSON 20 5-9 5-6 2 2 4 2 5 1 1 17 C WARD 20 3-6 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 1 1 8 M DOLEAC 6 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 2 1 0 2 0 T KNIGHT DNP - COACH'S DECISION L NAILON DNP - COACH'S DECISION F WILLIAMS DNP - COACH'S DECISION TOTALS 240 32-74 24-32 13 28 41 19 28 6 15 97 (.432) (.750) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 17 (16 PTS) WASHINGTON 21 32 21 22 - 96 NEW YORK 26 30 26 15 - 97 BLOCKED SHOTS: WASHINGTON - J STACKHOUSE, L HUGHES, K BROWN. NEW YORK - L SPREWELL 2, K THOMAS, O HARRINGTON. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: WASHINGTON 1-8 (.125), L HUGHES 0-2, B RUSSELL 0- 2, J DIXON 1-4. NEW YORK 9-22 (.409), L SPREWELL 2-9, H EISLEY 2-2, A HOUSTON 1-3, S ANDERSON 2-4, C WARD 2-4. TECHNICAL FOULS: WASHINGTON - DEFENSIVE THREE, C OAKLEY. NEW YORK - K THOMAS. FLAGRANT FOULS: NONE. OFFICIALS: DON VADEN, LEROY RICHARDSON, TOM WASHINGTON. A - 19,763. T - 2:39.


Game Story

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Michael Jordan tried to make it happen, but there would be no miracle finish in what likely was his final appearance at Madison Square Garden. Jordan scored 39 points in 43 minutes, but the New York Knicks overcame yet another gritty peformance by the 40-year-old superstar and held on for a 97-96 victory over the Washington Wizards. "He's probably as good as any of the guards or players now and he is 40," New York swingman Latrell Sprewell said. "He is like Jerry Rice. He is just a guy who has been the best all the time. It makes you really appreciate how he was in his prime with the things he can do now. He's a different player now but he is still very effective." Playing in an arena where he has had some of his most memorable performances, Jordan nearly willed the Wizards to a win after they trailed by as many as 15 points with just over five minutes remaining. "I love playing at the Garden, it's a special place to play," he said. "I came out with the notion that it would be the last time I played here. I just wanted to come out and play a good game. I stayed within myself and didn't try to do too much." Jordan's two free throws pulled Washington within 97-96 with 4.2 seconds remaining. But the Knicks, who led, 96-89, with just 30 left, ran out the clock as the Wizards were unable to foul in the final seconds. "I felt that we could win," Jordan added. "When you try to make a perfect ending, it doesn't always end that way." The loss dropped Washington two games behind Milwaukee and Orlando, who are tied for seventh in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards have dropped four of their last five games, three of them by three points or less. "For some reason, we've been getting off to very slow starts, especially defensively," Washington coach Doug Collins said. "We never really had a sense of togetherness until the last six minutes of the game; then we were playing frantically." Allan Houston scored 28 points for New York, which closed within four games of the Bucks and Magic. "We've been playing well lately," Sprewell said. "We just want to keep it going. Every win is huge for us, and we have to play the right way and do the right things if we expect to win." For a while it seemed Jordan was trying to beat the Knicks by himself as he did not get much help from his teammates. Larry Hughes and Juan Dixon were the Wizards' next-highest scorers with just 13 points. Jerry Stackhouse endured a miserable afternoon with just five points on 1-of-7 shooting. Sprewell chipped in with 20 points for the Knicks, while Shandon Anderson added 17 off the bench. After a slow start, Jordan took over in the second quarter, erupting for 19 points to give him 26 at intermission. The Knicks dared him to shoot and he obliged, making his usual assortment of jumpers. After missed three of his first five shots, Jordan finished the half 9-of-14 as the Wizards sliced a 12-point deficit to 56-53 at the intermission. "We knew he would be aggressive," Sprewell said. "Him and Shandon started talking back and forth, and that is one of the worst things you cam do to try to get Mike going. He was really into game at that point." New York coach Don Chaney made adjustments at the half, deciding to double-team Jordan, who was shadowed in the second half by Sprewell and Kurt Thomas and did not get as many open looks. Jordan was held to three points in the third quarter, allowing the Knicks to rebuild their lead to 82-72 on Houston's jumper with 28 seconds left. "He's relentless in terms of his ability to take over games," Chaney said. "You can't allow him to go 1-on-1 with our guys, he's just too good. When we knew he was gonna try to take the game over, we had to send another guy at him." Jordan was heard from again early in the fourth quarter, hitting back-to-back jumpers to bring the Wizards within 82-78 with 10 minutes to go. The Knicks spurted again, building a 95-80 cushion on Clarence Weatherspoon's two foul shots with 5:19 left. The Wizards stormed back, closing to 96-92 on Dixon's 3-pointer with 20 seconds left. Houston left the door open by missing a pair from the line with 18 seconds left, and Jordan hit two with 7.5 seconds to go to make it 96-94. Anderson left it a one-possession game by only making 1-of-2 from the line with 5.4 seconds remaining. The Knicks did not give Jordan an opportunity to attempt a possible game-tying 3-pointer, fouling him intentionally. He could only bring the Wizards within a point. New York won the game on the perimeter, making 9-of-22 3-pointers. Washington was just 1-of-8 from 3-point range.


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