WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 (Ticker) -- Michael Jordan
showed the heir to his throne how to take over in the fourth quarter.
After a dismal first half, Jordan scored 12 of his 23 points in the final period and Vince Carter
struggled down the stretch as the Washington Wizards extended their winning streak to four games with a 99-94 victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Carter was dubbed the "next Michael Jordan" following the seven-time scoring champion's retirement in 1998. Now that Jordan has returned, he seems to relish the opportunities to face the players who are trying to follow in his footsteps.
Jordan scored just three points on 1-of-5 shooting in the first half and had eight in the third quarter before taking control in the fourth.
NBA.TV highlights from Raptors-Wizards:
Richard Hamilton wasn't on with every shot, but was still a key factor in the Wizards' victory.
"You have to realize Vince played 48 minutes (Monday against Philadelphia)," Jordan said. "When you get into the fourth quarter, that's usually when you feel the legs a little bit. I was pretty rested, so that was my time to attack if I could."
"He's trying to do what he needs to do for his team, and I'm trying to do what I need to do for my team," Carter said. "He came out on top tonight. That's all right."
The teams were tied entering the final period and traded the lead three times before Dell Curry
gave the Raptors an 86-85 lead on a jumper with 4:50 remaining.
But Jordan responded with a turnaround jumper from the baseline to put the Wizards ahead for good and spark an 8-0 run. Popeye Jones
made a pair of free throws and Jordan sank another jumper before Richard Hamilton
beat the shot clock with a runner to give Washington a 93-86 edge with 2:27 left.
Carter, who scored just four points in the fourth quarter, made a pair of free throws with 29 seconds left to bring the Raptors within 97-94.
But Jordan beat Toronto's defense on the next possession, drawing a double team before passing to Jones, who nailed a baseline jumper with nine seconds left for the final margin.
Hamilton scored 16 points and Chris Whitney
and Jones added 14 apiece for the Wizards, who have won six of seven.
Washington shot 45 percent (39-of-86), including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, and held an overwhelming 50-27 rebounding edge. They grabbed a season-high 22 offensive boards leading to 27 second-chance points.
"Our goal going in was to go hard to the offensive boards," Wizards coach Doug Collins said. "Their big guys are so concerned about Michael and Richard Hamilton coming off screens to shoot the ball that it opened up some avenues to the basket."
led the way with 14 rebounds while Jordan, Jones and Tyrone Nesby
collected seven apiece.
Carter scored 29 points on 10-of-23 shooting for Toronto, which shot 53 percent (38-of-72) but could not make up for the disparity on the glass.
"Early in the game, they were getting too many second and third shots when we could've probably put them away," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "We didn't rebound tonight, and that hurt us. That was a big, big factor."
The Raptors played without forwards Tracy Murray
and Jerome Williams
, who combine to average seven rebounds but sat out with ankle sprains.
"We should have some of our people back after the All-Star break and that certainly will help us," Wilkens said. "I want us to compete, I don't want us to feel sorry for ourselves. As long as we compete, I'll be fine."
had 14 points and eight rebounds and Alvin Williams
chipped in 13 points as the Raptors lost for just the fourth time in 12 games.