CLEVELAND (AP) -- Only Michael Jordan, and only in Cleveland.
Jordan did it to the Cavaliers and their fans again, hitting an
18-foot jumper at the buzzer Thursday night to give the Washington
Wizards a 93-92 win.
Jordan victimized Cleveland throughout his career with the
Chicago Bulls, and although he's now wearing a Washington jersey,
No. 23 still has the Cavs' number.
"Everybody in the place knew where the ball was going," Jordan
said. "I've had some big shots in Cleveland, and they keep going
With 1.6 seconds left and Washington down 92-91, Jordan got free
on a defensive switch and calmly drained his jumper for the
Wizards, who trailed by 12 points in the fourth quarter.
Jordan's game-winner was almost identical to the shot he hit in
Game 5 over Craig Ehlo at Richfield Coliseum in 1989 to beat the
Cavs and eliminate Cleveland from the playoffs.
"There was no doubt. I wasn't worried," Jordan said. "There's
only two things can happen, you make it or you miss it. I wanted a
good look and I got one."
Jordan finished with 26 points and Chris Whitney had 20 for the
Wizards, who trailed 85-73 with 7:43 remaining.
All 20,562 fans inside Gund Arena knew exactly what the Wizards
would try on their final possession.
Jordan got a wide-open look, and after knocking his jumper down,
he pumped his fist and was mobbed by his teammates -- just like he
was 13 years ago.
Wizards coach Doug Collins, who was Jordan's coach in Chicago
when he made "The Shot" in '89, just laughed and ran on the floor
to high-five Jordan as the pair re-lived a special memory.
"No way," Collins said when asked if he jumped as high
celebrating as he did in '89. "I got a bad hip.
"It wasn't exactly the same play, but it was the same result. I
liked the way the horn sounded both times."
Jordan, who scored his career-high of 69 against Cleveland, has
had a running feud with the Cavs all season.
Annoyed by the way Cleveland's Ricky Davis had dunked and
pranced around in a Nov. 27 game here, Jordan responded with 40
points in a home win over the Cavs last week.
"I got to hear about this from Michael for the rest of the
year," said Cavs coach John Lucas, who visited Jordan in the
locker room afterward.
Late in the game, Lucas had tried to distract Jordan by talking
to him as he inbounded the ball.
Jordan just pushed Lucas away.
"I told him, 'Not now, this is money time'," Jordan said.
"After the game he called me a couple names I can't say, I just
asked him, 'Who do you think was going to shoot?"'
Tempers flared in the fourth quarter when Wizards center Jahidi
White tangled with Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. The pair went
face-to-face before White head-butted Ilgauskas.
Both were ejected, but Cleveland rookie DeSagana Diop may have
received the worst punishment when he was knocked to the floor by
Cavs assistant coach Keith Smart as he tried to help Ilgauskas.
Jordan said the exchange fired up the Wizards, who were trailing
85-73 after missing 12 straight shots.
"It inspired us more than them," Jordan said. "It was energy
we fed off of."
Richard Hamilton, who missed 17 games with a groin injury, had
10 points for the Wizards.
After outscoring Minnesota 45-4 in a stretch over two quarters
on Tuesday night, the Cavs reeled off 13 straight points in a 22-4
spurt to end the third quarter and take a 74-71 lead.
Browns coach Butch Davis and Indians first baseman Jim
Thome came out to see Jordan. ... Before the game, Lucas was
insisting Jordan is the league's first-half MVP. "He's doing it
with smarts and not the same talent he had," said Lucas. "What
he's done this year is off the charts. I know our league's (talent)
is watered down. But these are still the best 300 players in the
world and the best one is 39 (years old)." ... Cavs F Lamond
Murray, who broke his nose during a recent West Coast trip, is
expected to be activated before Saturday night's game against
Detroit. ... Wizards G Hubert Davis didn't make the trip because of
the flu. "I think it's a combination of him being exhausted and
sick," Collins said. "He just wore down."
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