WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (Ticker) --
Two nights after scoring a career low, Michael Jordan
bounced back with a season-high 51 points as the Washington Wizards halted a two-game slide with a 105-86 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
Jordan collected a franchise-record 34 points in the first half on 15-of-22 shooting, falling three points shy of his previous season high for an entire game. He eclipsed the mark of Jeff Malone, who scored 33 in a half on February 27, 1988 at Phoenix. Jordan cooled off in the second half, shooting six-for-18 from the floor, for 17 points.
Jordan had just six points in Thursday's loss at Indiana. He had scored at least 10 points in 866 consecutive games since his previous low of eight points on March 22, 1986 against Cleveland.
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Nearly 40 years of age, Michael Jordan is still the Wizard, netting his first 50+ point game since 1997.
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Jordan also set a new team record with 24 first-quarter points, breaking the mark set by Bernard King, who had 23 against Denver on December 29, 1990.
"I felt real good in the first quarter," Jordan said. "My rhythm, my timing was perfect."
One of the greatest players in NBA history, Jordan moved within 60 points of becoming the fourth player to score 30,000 points. The others are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Wilt Chamberlain.
matched a season high with 21 points, making 5-of-6 3-pointers, as Washington avenged Wednesday's road loss that ended its team record-tying nine-game winning streak.
Davis stepped up in the absence of Richard Hamilton,
the Wizards' second-leading scorer who is on the injured list with a pulled groin. Davis contributed 14 points in the first half, going 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
scored a career-high 22 points off the bench for the Hornets, who closed the year with six losses in eight games.
Jordan nailed a 17-foot jumper with four seconds left in the half, giving Washington a 56-51 lead.
The five-time NBA Most Valuable Player collected seven points, two rebounds and three assists to ignite a 20-6 run in the third quarter.
"When he gets in a rhythm like that, you just ride him," Wizards coach Doug Collins said.
Jordan found Popeye Jones
on the right side for a 15-foot jumper to spark Washington's outburst 2:10 into the second half. He capped the run with a basket with 3:40 remaining in the period as the Wizards opened a commanding 80-59 lead.
Jordan broke the 50-point barrier with 4:08 left in the contest, working his way into the lane before sinking a fadeaway jumper to re-establish a 21-point cushion.
After Jahidi White
made the first of two free throws with 3:08 left, Jordan received a standing ovation as he was replaced by Tyronn Lue.
Jordan scored the Wizards' first 13 points of the game. After sinking a pair of mid-range jumpers, he hit from close range and from 18 feet to give Washington an 8-4 advantage less than three minutes into the contest.
Jordan finally missed with 8:09 to go in the quarter but was 10-of-15 in the opening 12 minutes.