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Jordan Answers With 45

January 01, 2002|From Associated Press

Kenyon Martin made a big mistake when he mentioned his back spasms to Michael Jordan.

On learning this news, Jordan went to work and nearly set an NBA record. He scored 22 points in a row, part of a 45-point game in the Washington Wizards' 98-76 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Monday night in the MCI Center's annual New Year's Eve game.

"Kenyon Martin told me he had a back problem," Jordan said. "I don't think he wants to tell me that. I just started attacking from that point on."

Coming off a 51-point game and a six-pointer before that, Jordan made 16 of 32 shots and 12 of 13 free throws with 10 rebounds and seven assists. He scored the last 10 points of the first half and the first 12 of the third quarter, single-handedly accounting for a 19-3 run that put Washington ahead 56-45. The Nets never got closer than nine.

"Michael's feeling better," Washington Coach Doug Collins said. "I guess that's an understatement, huh?"

The 22-point streak was one shy of the league record, set by Jordan when he had 23 in a row for Chicago against Atlanta on April 16, 1987. Jordan scored 61 in that game.

The Wizards have won 11 of their last 13 and went 11-4 for the month, tying the team record for most wins in December. They went 2-13 last December, the worst in franchise history.

"My knees are feeling good," Jordan said. "I'm feeling a lot better. Once I get in a rhythm, I can get it going, so I think that'll keep all those old-player conversations down a little bit."

*

Miami 89, Indiana 87--Alonzo Mourning made a hook shot with 47.2 seconds left, and Eddie Jones scored 29 points to lead the Heat over the Pacers at Indianapolis.

Mourning, who finished with 19 points, scored over Jermaine O'Neal to snap the Heat's six-game losing streak and improve their record to 6-23.

Miami, which trailed by five points with less than five minutes remaining, used a 15-9 run to clinch its first victory since Dec. 15.

*

Chicago 90, Milwaukee 83--Ron Mercer scored 20 points, and Marcus Fizer had 17 points and a career-high 14 rebounds at Chicago as the Bulls improved to 2-0 under Coach Bill Cartwright.

Sam Cassell scored 28 to lead the Bucks, who were without leading scorers Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson because of injuries.

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