Listless Wizards fall to Warriors

Golden State controls boards, wins, 109-100

Pro Basketball

November 10, 2001|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - The tapes Doug Collins had watched of the Golden State Warriors showed a team that reflected the playing personality of its coach, Dave Cowens. In the 10 years he spent with the Boston Celtics, Cowens was one of the best rebounders in the NBA.

"If we don't match them on the boards," Collins said an hour before last night's game, "we'll get overrun."

The tapes didn't lie, and the Wizards didn't work. It proved to be a difficult combination at the sold-out MCI Center, where the Warriors dominated the boards at both ends and Michael Jordan, showing his age for longer stretches than at any time this season, dominated at neither.

The result was a deceptively close 109-100 defeat for the Wizards, their third straight after a promising 2-1 start and a tough way to begin a five-game home stand. The Wizards, who had been competitive on the boards for most of the season, were crushed, 45-27.

Jordan finished with 32 points for the second straight game, tying his season-high. But unlike his performance in Wednesday's loss at Boston, many of Jordan's points last night were moot. He scored 18 points after the Warriors had doubled a seven-point halftime lead and eventually led by as many as 19, 99-80.

Antawn Jamison and Larry Hughes each scored 26 points for Golden State (3-3), while Danny Fortson added 16 points and 16 rebounds. Not only did the Warriors dominate the boards, but they shot a season-high 52 percent (39 of 75 from the floor), including 23 of 37 in the second and third quarters.

Only a flurry of missed shots by Golden State helped the Wizards avoid setting a dubious franchise record for fewest rebounds (23) in a game. Washington did not get a single rebound in the first six minutes of the third quarter.

"One of the things I've been pretty decent at as a coach is understanding what a team's strengths and weaknesses are. I knew if we didn't compete on the boards, they would mash us, and they did," said Collins. "The one thing I promise is I will go with competitors. I'll find the guys who'll compete."

Consider some of these numbers: Fortson finished with six more rebounds than Washington's starting team. Wizards center Jahidi White had more fouls (three) than rebounds (two), and was outrebounded by Warriors backup point guard Mookie Blaylock by one.

It wasn't just Washington's lack of effort on the boards. After competing down to the final minute of a nine-point defeat in Boston, the Wizards barely showed up in the third quarter last night. It led to Collins benching starting guard Richard Hamilton for the final 19 minutes.

"There are two ends of the floor, and we're going to make sure everybody plays both ends of the floors," said Collins, who at one point in the game tried to get Hamilton to hit the boards. "It can't be the floor is tilted, that they're running uphill on defense and downhill on offense."

Except for a strong individual finish, which included a baseline dunk for his final two points, Jordan seemed to be running uphill all night. He made just five of 15 shots in the first half, including missing the first six he took in the second quarter in a 13-for-30 shooting effort.

As happened in last Sunday's 22-point defeat at Detroit, what Jordan experienced last night was something he rarely felt during most of his 13 years with the Chicago Bulls. It was something he saw often during the 20 months he spent as Washington's president of basketball operations.

"I don't see collective effort for the sake of the team," he said. "You have situations like that. We have a game we thought we had a good chance of winning, and we got dominated for most of the game."

NOTES: Rookie forward Kwame Brown returned after missing the past four games with a sprained ankle, finishing with 10 points and four rebounds in 35 minutes ... The Wizards play again tomorrow, hosting the Seattle SuperSonics in a 1 p.m. game.

FG FT Reb

Golden State Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Jamison 36 10-17 6-8 2-4 2 3 26

Fortson 35 6-9 4-4 4-16 3 4 16

Dampier 25 2-6 2-2 0-3 1 2 6

Rchrdsn 17 2-2 0-2 0-1 0 1 5

Hughes 31 7-15 11-12 2-4 4 3 26

Sura 18 2-5 2-2 2-2 2 4 6

Murphy 17 2-3 0-0 0-3 1 5 4

Mills 22 4-6 2-2 0-3 4 3 11

Foyle 15 1-2 0-2 2-6 1 3 2

Blaylock 18 3-8 0-0 0-3 4 0 7

Hndrsn 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Jackson 3 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 0

Totals 240 39-75 27-34 12-45 22 30 109

Percentages: FG .520, FT .794. 3-point goals: 4-7, .571 (Richardson 1-1, Mills 1-1, Hughes 1-2, Blaylock 1-3). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 3 (Foyle 2, Hughes). Turnovers: 23 (Dampier 5, Hughes 4, Jamison 4, Fortson 3, Richardson 2, Foyle, Sura, Murphy, Mills, Jackson). Steals: 9 (Hughes 3, Richardson 3, Fortson 2, Murphy). Technical fouls: Defensive Three Second, 8:27 first; Defensive Three Second, 4:02 second.

FG FT Reb

Washington Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS

Jordan 38 13-30 6-8 0-3 3 3 32

Laettner 29 1-2 1-2 0-3 3 2 3

White 13 1-2 0-0 1-2 0 3 2

RHamilton 22 4-10 8-12 0-1 3 2 16

Whitney 23 3-8 2-2 0-1 1 3 8

Nesby 19 4-8 1-1 2-3 0 3 10

Lue 5 0-2 0-0 0-1 2 1 0

Brown 35 3-5 4-4 1-4 1 2 10

Alexander 20 3-7 2-2 1-3 4 1 8

Jones 12 0-0 3-4 2-5 1 2 3

Simmons 16 2-4 4-4 0-0 1 4 8

Thomas 8 0-1 0-0 0-1 0 0 0

Totals 240 34-79 31-39 7-27 19 26 100

Percentages: FG .430, FT .795. 3-point goals: 1-9, .111 (Nesby 1-2, Lue 0-1, Jordan 0-1, Simmons 0-1, Whitney 0-4). Team rebounds: 13. Blocked shots: 1 (R.Hamilton). Turnovers: 13 (Whitney 3, Jordan 3, Brown 2, Lue, Alexander, Laettner, Nesby, Simmons). Steals: 9 (Jordan 3, Laettner 2, Nesby 2, Whitney, R.Hamilton). Technical fouls: None.

Golden State 25 32 30 22 - 109

Washington 26 24 22 28 - 100

A-20,674 (20,674). T-2:08.

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