Jordan Shakes Rust, Celtics in Big Win
Never before in their 56-year history have the Boston Celtics been beaten so badly.
And who was on the other end of the 45-point loss? Michael Jordan, who suddenly doesn’t look so old after all.
Shaking off a rusty performance that made him look all of his 39 years the night before, Jordan scored 21 points in 21 minutes and ignited a rout with a four-point flourish at the end of the first half as the Wizards beat the Celtics, 114-69, Thursday night at Washington.
“In terms of what we all envisioned, in putting this team together, tonight it worked perfectly,” said Jordan. “I’d like to have about 55 more like this.”
Boston’s previous worst regular-season loss was 44 points, 128-84 at Portland on Jan. 4, 1977. It was the third-largest margin of victory in Wizard history.
Jordan scored only eight points and missed a dunk in the second half of Wednesday’s season-opening loss at Toronto. He had more points than that in the second half against the Celtics. For the game, he was eight for 15 from the field and five for five from the free-throw line and had four rebounds and five assists.
Jerry Stackhouse had 22 points and 10 assists for Washington. Kwame Brown, a disappointment as the No. 1 overall pick in the draft last season, had four blocked shots in the first quarter and finished with 20 points, six rebounds and a career-high six blocks.
Sacramento 100, Portland 72 -- Peja Stojakovic scored 26 points and Bobby Jackson had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Kings overcame the absence of three starters to win at Sacramento. The Kings played without Chris Webber, Mike Bibby and Doug Christie -- three starters from last season’s Pacific Division championship team. Webber was held out after he had strained lower abdominal muscles at the team’s shoot-around. Christie finished his two-game suspension for a preseason fight with the Lakers’ Rick Fox and Bibby is sidelined by a foot injury.
Atlanta 105, Utah 98 -- Glenn Robinson scored 30 points and Jason Terry had 21 points and a career-high 13 assists as the Hawks won their home opener. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who missed the opener because of a sore back, scored 10 of Atlanta’s points in a 15-6 run at the start of the third quarter that broke the game open.