Jordan, Wizards drop 7th straight

Hornets win, 95-88, despite legend's 30

November 21, 2001|By Don Markus | Don Markus,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - There is only one kind of history for the Washington Wizards, and it is of a dubious nature. A team that set the record for the most defeats in franchise history last season helped Michael Jordan to a mark he probably never considered when he returned to the NBA this season.

A 95-88 loss to the undermanned Charlotte Hornets last night at MCI Center was the seventh straight for the Wizards and dropped them to 2-8, matching the same horrendous start they've had the past two years. The skid eclipses the six-game losing streak Jordan experienced during his third season with the Chicago Bulls.

It didn't even matter that the Hornets (5-5) played without two of their top three scorers, forward Jamal Mashburn and guard David Wesley. Four of the five Charlotte starters scored in double figures. Baron Davis led the Hornets with 32 points. Lee Nailon, who started for Mashburn, finished with 18.

Once again, Jordan received little support. Jordan finished with 30 points on 13-for-23 shooting, but Washington got only six points from its other four starters. Hubert Davis added 18 points off the bench, and Richard Hamilton scored 10, but continued to struggle by missing nine of 12 shots.

"I don't know what it looks like, but it feels like we're not doing what Doug [Collins, coach] is asking of us collectively," Jordan said. "It's one of those situations where we let one slip, where we didn't take advantage of an opportunity where they were really damaged, they were not healthy."

The third-quarter malaise also hit the Wizards again. After leading 40-38 at halftime, the Wizards were still ahead, 46-44, when the Hornets went on a 10-2 run that could have been worse had Baron Davis not missed a couple of free throws.

Washington never really recovered.

After Jordan went to the bench for a rest toward the end of the quarter, the deficit grew to 10, was briefly cut to seven on a three-point shot by Hubert Davis and, with Jordan back on the court to start the fourth quarter, grew to 15 points, 81-66, on a banked, straightaway three-pointer by Baron Davis.

"When you're winning, you feel you can't do anything wrong, but when you're losing, you feel like you can't do anything right," said Hubert Davis. "Defensively, we couldn't stop them. They were getting layups, free throws, three-pointers off the backboard."

Said Collins: "We are a sieve at best defensively."

Offensively, they are even worse. Aside from Jordan, the rest of the Wizards shot 20 of 54. They also committed 20 turnovers that resulted in 26 points for the Hornets, who yesterday placed Mashburn on the injured list and kept Wesley in street clothes.

The loss completed an 0-5 homestand for the Wizards, who play four of their next five games on the road beginning tomorrow in Indianapolis. Collins, who was hired in April by Jordan with a reputation for turning around young, losing teams, finds himself at a loss for what he might do for this team.

"I don't know if I've ever been around a fragile, more sensitive group," Collins said. "It appears when things go wrong, they can't find a way to fight through it. This is a tough business; you have to be able to play through your mistakes."

The Wizards even went as far as to hold a players-only meeting, which according to Jordan was led by veteran forward Christian Laettner.

"We have to be strong through these moments and not point fingers at other people," Jordan said. "Everybody has a job to do and we have to collectively do our jobs. Right now everybody has messed up. I have made mistakes, other guys have made mistakes, so we have to look in the mirror and see how we can make this team different."

Asked what it was like to endure the longest losing streak of his legendary career, Jordan said, "It's disappointing more than frustrating. Obviously, I believe in the team and will continue to do that. ... We've made some improvements from Day One, but we're not nearly where we should be."

.............................FG....FT...Reb

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

Nailon 39 7-15 4-4 3-5 3 1 18

PBrown 33 3-8 2-2 3-11 1 1 8

Campbell 33 4-13 7-8 3-8 3 5 15

Augmon 35 3-10 6-6 4-4 0 4 12

BDavis 42 12-23 6-12 5-7 5 1 32

Magloire 15 1-2 0-0 0-2 0 3 2

BDrew 22 3-7 0-0 0-0 1 0 6

Traylor 5 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Bullard 14 1-3 0-0 0-3 0 0 2

Moiso 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240 34-83 25-32 18-40 13 16 95

Percentages: FG .410, FT .781. 3-point goals: 2-9, .222 (B.Davis 2-5, Bullard 0-2, B.Drew 0-2). Team rebounds: 10. Blocked shots: 6 (Campbell 3, B.Davis 2, Magloire). Turnovers: 10 (Nailon 3, Campbell 2, B.Davis 2, Magloire, Traylor). Steals: 9 (B.Drew 4, Nailon 2, P.Brown, B.Davis, Augmon). Technical fouls: Defensive Three Second, 10:16 first; Magloire, 1:26 first; Defensive Three Second, 11:38 second.

...................................FG....FT..Reb

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

Simmons 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Laettner 31 0-6 4-5 3-8 2 2 4

White 15 0-1 0-0 0-4 0 2 0

Jordan 41 13-23 3-4 0-4 6 4 30

Whitney 13 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 2 2

Nesby 15 2-5 2-2 1-2 2 2 6

Jones 28 3-5 2-2 7-13 1 3 8

RHamilton 28 3-12 4-4 1-4 1 1 10

HDavis 27 7-12 0-0 0-0 4 1 18

Alexander 16 1-4 0-0 0-2 2 2 2

KBrown 18 2-5 2-2 0-4 0 3 6

Thomas 4 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 2

Totals 240 33-77 17-19 12-41 19 23 88

Percentages: FG .429, FT .895. 3-point goals: 5-9, .556 (H.Davis 4-6, Jordan 1-2, R.Hamilton 0-1). Team rebounds: 11. Blocked shots: 2 (K.Brown, Simmons). Turnovers: 20 (Jordan 5, R.Hamilton 4, Whitney 2, Nesby 2, H.Davis, Alexander, Laettner, Jones). Steals: 4 (Jordan 2, Laettner, Nesby). Technical fouls: None.

Charlotte 18 20 28 29 - 95

Washington 18 22 19 29 - 88

A-20,674 (20,674). T-2:18.

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