TORONTO -- Vince Carter put on a better show than Michael Jordan as the two faced each other for the first time Thursday night.
Carter scored 18 of his 31 points in the first quarter and played defense on Jordan as though the game actually meant something as the Toronto Raptors beat the Washington Wizards 113-96 in an exhibition game.
Jordan scored 22 points but did not have his jump shot working well. He made three of his first four shots but missed 11 of his final 13, scoring the majority of his points by going 12-for-12 from the line.
Carter shot 10-for-23 with four 3-pointers, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks, while Jordan shot 5-for-17 with three rebounds and four assists. Two of his shots were airballs.
In his typically dismissive manner, Carter had insisted in the days leading up to this game that it was no big deal. His body language, however, spoke otherwise - especially on the two occasions when he found himself guarding Jordan one-on-one.
The first time, Carter went chest to chest with Jordan just inside the 3-point line, forcing Jordan to fire up an airball from 22 feet.
The next time they were matched up, Carter's defense was equally tight until Jordan sneaked behind him for a backdoor move and got off a layup - only to have it swatted away by Hakeem Olajuwon.
The two rarely made eye contact and barely acknowledged each other as the game wore on, with Jordan showing almost no emotion and Carter being only a little more animated. After the final buzzer, Jordan walked downcourt and gave Carter a friendly pat that Carter reciprocated by wrapping an arm around Jordan's shoulder.
Jordan made three of his first four shots - all jumpers - before Carter heated up and dropped in 15 points in a span of 4:03. Included in that run was one play where Carter head-faked Jordan off his feet under the basket and scored easily.
Carter also had a two-handed dunk that he turned into a three-point play and a 50-foot bounce pass leading to a fast break layup by Carlos Arroyo. He then stole the ball from Jordan and made a 3-pointer for the last of his 18 first-quarter points.
Carter had 26 at halftime (to Jordan's 14) and 31 after three quarters before leaving the game for good 90 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Jordan checked in for the final time with 7:15 remaining and Washington trailing 93-85, and the Raptors were ahead by 14 by the time Jordan left with 2:59 remaining.
Antonio Davis added 20 points for Toronto, Alvin Williams had 17 and Olajuwon grabbed 15 rebounds.
Courtney Alexander had 20 points and Chris Whitney 12 for Washington.
© 2016. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us