Originally created 11/28/01

Cavaliers 94, Wizards 75



CLEVELAND -- It had been an awful long time since Michael Jordan looked quite so ordinary against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jordan, who used to destroy the Cavaliers nearly every time he played them, scored 18 points in his first game back with Washington in Cleveland's 94-75 win Tuesday night over the Wizards.

Ricky Davis scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and Lamond Murray had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavs, who won their third straight at home.

A sellout crowd of 20,562 came to Gund Arena to see Jordan, who gave the fans a few thrills but had another poor shooting night.

Jordan came in shooting just 40.4 percent - a career-low - and went only 9-of-24 from the floor and didn't attempt a free throw in 31 minutes. He added four rebounds and five assists, but sat out the final 4:33 with the Wizards down by 20.

He certainly wasn't the old Jordan, who averaged 31.6 points in his first 80 games against the Cavaliers and eliminated them four times in the playoffs.

It was against Cleveland in 1989 that he made "The Shot" over Craig Ehlo in the decisive Game 5 to advance the Chicago Bulls.

He also scored 69 points - his career-high - on March 28, 1990, against Cleveland. But also had just 8 points in a loss on March 12, 1986, the last time he scored in single digits.

Jordan isn't making as many shots these day, and his supporting cast isn't offering much help. Richard Hamilton shot 3-of-13 and had 13 points and Christian Laettner 10 for the Wizards, who shot just 34 percent from the field and dropped to 3-10.

Jumaine Jones added 15 points, Andre Miller 14 and Chris Mihm had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Cleveland.

Cavs coach John Lucas was as nervous as his players, some of whom had posters of Jordan on their bedroom walls.

"My only concern is that he loves Cleveland," Lucas said before the game. "Even though he's old and all. An old dog wakes up in familiar places."

It took the old dog a while to warm up.

Jordan missed four of his first five shots, including a short jumper and layup off an alley-oop in a five-second span. However, he helped bring the Wizards back from a 20-point deficit.

Jordan drilled a 16-footer, banked in a 10-footer and hit two short turnarounds as Washington closed the half with an 18-6 run to pull to 48-40 at halftime.

The Wizards got within two in the third, but the Cavs took an eight-point lead and quickly built it to 20 as Davis scored eight straight points and Bimbo Coles chipped in with two straight baskets.

Notes: One fan held up a sign saying, "70?" when Jordan took the floor. ... Jordan recorded the first triple-double in All-Star game history at the Gund in 1997. ... When he was coaching in Philadelphia, Lucas introduced a teenage Kobe Bryant to Jordan. "Kobe said, 'Mr. Jordan, nice to meet you'," Lucas recalled. "I said, 'Kobe, you can't do that, you're going to be in the league next year'. Michael just laughed."