Jordan haunts Cavs with last-second jumperPosted: Thursday January 31, 2002 9:56 PM
Updated: Friday February 01, 2002 5:04 AM
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 in."
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?'"
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.
Notes: 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."