STATE COLLEGE, Pa., Oct. 22 (AP) --
Whether scoring or drawing double- and triple-teams, Michael Jordan
is doing his part to keep Washington in games. Now, the rest of the Wizards are going to have to do their part.
With Jordan on the bench in the fourth quarter, Washington squandered a six-point lead, dropping a 91-87 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers in an exhibition game Monday night.
"How many points did we score in the fourth quarter? Eleven?" Washington coach Doug Collins asked. "It's a learning experience."
Washington went scoreless for 5:54, and Philadelphia went on a 13-7 run and tied the game on a jump hook by Jerome Moiso.
Moiso, who missed three shots in one possession earlier in the quarter, scored the go-ahead basket on a layup with 46 seconds left, giving Philadelphia an 87-85 lead.
"I was really pleased for Jerome," said 76ers coach Larry Brown. "We had a terrible third quarter, which we've had every game. But we held it together in the fourth quarter, and we did it with a lot of our young guys on the court."
Although enthralled by Jordan, the crowd cheered the backcourt play of Philadelphia's Raja Bell
and Speedy Claxton
, who combined for 35 points. Bell had 18 and Claxton scored 17.
Richard Hamilton led Washington with 21 points. Jordan finished with 17 points in 28 minutes -- well short of the 41 points he scored Saturday against the New Jersey Nets.
While fighting double-teams on offense, Jordan fed the ball to open teammates and directed traffic.
Without Jordan on the court, the Wizards' offense sputtered. The Sixers outscored the Jordan-less Wizards 23-8 during a 7:49 stretch in the first half and 21-11 in the fourth.
"I could have played a lot more in the fourth quarter, but Doug is trying to teach, and this is not the time for me to go out and take over a ball game," Jordan said.
Jordan had the full attention of the partisan, pro-Sixers crowd. Flashbulbs popped whenever Jordan shot. Fans cheered him in warmups, held their breath when he got double-teamed, came to life after his first steal, and roared when he made his first basket, an acrobatic layup following his own miss.
But just like on Saturday, the Wizards had little offense without Jordan. Washington led 27-21 when Jordan went to the bench with 1:13 left in the first half. By the time he returned, the 76ers led 44-35.
Philadelphia led 52-47 at halftime.
Although Jordan scored just six points in the third quarter, he blocked Robert "Tractor" Traylor under the basket.
Washington tied the score at 62 on a basket by Courtney Alexander, then took a 64-62 lead with 4:40 left on a pair of free throws by Jordan.
The Wizards led 76-70 after three periods.
But with Jordan on the bench, the Wizards faded again, going 5:54 without a basket.