G. State shatters Wiz like glass

Rebounding edge allows Warriors to cut string of Wizards' wins at 5, 104-99

26 second-chance points costly

Jordan comes up empty

Dixon taken off injury list

January 11, 2003|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON - The numbers didn't add up last night for the Washington Wizards, and, as a result, their biggest number of the season, five, as in a five-game winning streak, came to a crashing halt by a 104-99 count to the Golden State Warriors at MCI Center.

The Wizards shot 50 percent from the floor, as opposed to Golden State's 44 percent, but the Warriors hurt Washington where it really counted, in the rebounding tally, 48-34.

The rebounding deficit was even more pronounced on the offensive glass, where the Warriors (15-20) had a 26-19 advantage in second-chance points.

"Even when we stopped them, we couldn't clear the ball," Washington coach Doug Collins said. "That was really the end of the game for us. When we made them miss, we couldn't rebound the ball."

Golden State's Troy Murphy scored 15 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds, six on the offensive glass. In the first half, Golden State racked up as many offensive rebounds (13) as Washington had defensive rebounds. Murphy alone out-rebounded the Wizards' frontcourt, including reserves, 12-11 in the first half.

"Some times, the ball kind of bounces your way," said Murphy. "The ball just came, and Coach [Eric Musselman] told me to really focus in on rebounding. I played a lot of minutes [41] so there were a lot of opportunities."

The Warriors made the most of their opportunities, while the Wizards (18-18) stumbled over theirs. Trailing by a point with 2:19 to go, Washington went scoreless, as Charles Oakley was called for an offensive foul with 34 seconds remaining, and Michael Jordan missed a jumper and a layup in the final minute.

Meanwhile, the Warriors got big shots and rebounds when they needed them, none bigger than the clinching basket from Earl Boykins, Golden State's 5-foot-5 backup point guard, who hit a runner in the lane with 15.7 seconds to go to give the Warriors a 102-99 lead.

"I really did not know what I was going to do until I heard Doug Collins tell him [Larry Hughes] to back up," Boykins said. "Once I heard him say to back up, I knew Hughes was on his heels and as soon as he began to back up, I ran at him full speed and out-quicked him."

Jerry Stackhouse led all scorers with 26 points, but only two in the fourth quarter. Hughes had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, while Jordan had 14 points.

The Wizards activated rookie guard Juan Dixon from the injured list, where he had been since spraining his left elbow Dec. 1. Dixon, who averages 6.1 points, had a pair of breakout games just before his injury, scoring a career-high 18 points against Philadelphia, and scoring 15 and grabbing six steals in the fourth quarter against Indiana.

Dixon, a Calvert Hall alum who led Maryland to its first national championship last year, participated in his first full contact practice Thursday and impressed Collins that his elbow's range of motion had returned sufficiently to allow him to play aggressive defense.

"He didn't want me reaching at all, especially during the scrimmages, especially the first one," said Dixon, who did not play last night. " `Juan, get the arm out of there, get that arm out of there.' I heard it 1,000 times. That's the way I play basketball. I am 100 percent confident in my left arm to be able to reach and get steals and cause havoc on the defensive end. I'll just go out there and play my game and trust that nothing happens."

Wizards tonight

Opponent:New York Knicks

Site:Madison Square Garden, New York

Time:7:30

TV/Radio:CN8, Ch. 50/WTNT (570 AM)

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