It wasn't the ending he wanted or imagined, but it was goodbye nonetheless. With the Chicago fans cheering him one last time, Jordan finally faded from view.
"We both had a chance to say goodbye, let's move on to the rest of the season and move on in life," Jordan said Friday night after scoring only 11 points in the Washington Wizards' 104-97 loss to the Bulls at Chicago.
It was likely Jordan's last game in Chicago.
Given a chance to show their love and adoration for the man who brought them six NBA titles, the Chicago fans showered Jordan with a thunderous ovation that lasted four minutes. He didn't have a good game, making only four of 14 field goals in 39 minutes.
It was Jordan's first loss to his old team in the five games.
Marcus Fizer scored 17 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter for the Bulls, and dominated the Wizards inside. He scored Chicago's first 11 points of the fourth, all but one on hook shots or layups.
Still, Jordan and the Wizards almost pulled it out. Jordan scored on a layup then made two free throws to pull the Wizards to within two at 97-95. But Fizer answered with another hook shot and Donyell Marshall sealed the win with three free throws in the last 30 seconds.
San Antonio 91, Utah 90 -- Tim Duncan, who had 29 points and 17 rebounds, made a turnaround jump shot over Karl Malone as time expired to help the Spurs win at Salt Lake City and defeat the Jazz for the 11th straight time. The Spurs put center David Robinson on the injured list because of lower back spasms.
Portland 97, New Orleans 96 -- The Trail Blazers escaped in overtime at New Orleans after the Hornets' P.J. Brown had his 12-foot jump shot at the overtime buzzer rim out. New Orleans' top two scorers -- Jamal Mashburn (right hamstring) and Baron Davis (left knee) -- left in the third quarter because of injuries.
Boston 77, Denver 58 -- Paul Pierce scored 45 as the Celtics won at Boston. Antoine Walker sat out his second straight game for the Celtics because of a sprained right knee. Pierce had 28 points at halftime; Denver had 29.
Dallas 101, New York 90 -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points for the second consecutive night for the Mavericks, who successfully used a zone defense after the teams were tied, 74-74, through three quarters at New York .
Indiana 93, Seattle 80 -- The Pacers extended their winning streak at home to 13 in a game in which SuperSonics Coach Nate McMillan and point guard Gary Payton were both ejected in the fourth quarter.
Detroit 98, Houston 74 -- Cliff Robinson scored 20 points and the Pistons won at Houston, holding an opponent to fewer than 100 points for the 15th consecutive game.
Vince Carter will return to the struggling Toronto Raptors Sunday after sitting out 23 games because of a strained right knee.