Trail Blazers Dip as Jordan Prevails
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen didn’t get to play against each other one last time. So Jordan put on a show all by himself.
With his former teammate watching in street clothes from the Portland bench, Jordan scored 25 points as the visiting Wizards held off a late rally for a 95-91 victory over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
Losers of four of their last six games, Portland (46-26) fell one game behind Minnesota (44-26) for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference and home-court advantage in a first-round playoff series between the two teams. Washington (34-37), a half-game behind Milwaukee (33-37) for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, snapped a three-game skid.
The final regular-season meeting between Jordan and Pippen, who played together on the Chicago Bulls teams that won six NBA championships in the 1990s, was derailed when Pippen went on the injured list following knee surgery.
Jordan has said he plans to retire after this season.
The Trail Blazers trailed by as many as 13 points but rallied to cut it to two in the fourth quarter. They trailed, 79-77, on Jeff McInnis’ short jumper with 5:38 to go and kept it close until Jordan’s 22-foot jumper gave the Wizards a 92-87 lead and the cushion they needed.
Bonzi Wells led the Trail Blazers with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Minnesota 108, Miami 91 -- Kevin Garnett and Wally Szczerbiak scored 26 points apiece at Minneapolis as the Timberwolves won their fourth in a row and moved 20 games over .500.
The Timberwolves (46-26) hadn’t been this far over .500 since they were 40-20 on March 5 last season.
Caron Butler scored 21 points for the Heat.
San Antonio 107, Milwaukee 94 -- Tim Duncan scored 31 points and Speedy Claxton had 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds to lead the Spurs at San Antonio.
Claxton came off the bench to replace point guard Tony Parker, who left because of a sprained right wrist at the end of the first quarter.
Spur center David Robinson, who plans to retire after this season, was honored at halftime and after the game for his 13 years with the team.
Sam Cassell led the Bucks with 19 points.
Cleveland 124, Golden State 103 -- Ricky Davis scored 28 points at Cleveland as the Cavaliers won consecutive games for the first time this season.
Antawn Jamison had 23 points for the Warriors, who began a five-game trip with slim playoff hopes.