TORONTO, March 24 (Ticker)
-- Michael Jordan
cannot perform his magic every game, and the Toronto Raptors had to win at home some time.
Jordan committed the turnover that led to Antonio Davis' go-ahead basket and missed a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer as the Toronto Raptors snapped their nine-game home losing streak with a 92-91 triumph over the Washington Wizards.
Davis, who finished with 17 points and nine rebounds, stripped the ball from Jordan's hands at Toronto's end and put home the layup with 15 seconds left for a 92-91 edge.
"Yes, obviously (it was a foul), they were fouling all day long," said Jordan, who finished with 14 points off the bench in his second game back from knee surgery. "The ref let it go and it couldn't be more obvious. I had the ball, I had the rebound and the ref was right there."
NBA TV highlights from|
Antonio Davis was tough in the paint with 17 points, nine boards and the game-winning bucket.
"It is a testament to us not giving up, Davis said. "It is one of those things when you're fighting for the ball, someone has to come away with it."
After a timeout, Jordan lofted a 17-foot jumper with Jerome Williams' hand in his face. Known for hitting clutch shots late in games throughout his legendary career, Jordan watched as the ball rimmed out.
"I was isolated and I felt like I could get a shot," Jordan said. "I had a good look, it went in-and-out and I missed it."
"It was a great honor to guard Michael Jordan at the end of the game," Williams said. "I didn't want to be one of those highlights. I played the best defense I could and it was either going in or it wasn't."
Morris Peterson scored 26 points to lead the Raptors in the absence of All-Star Vince Carter, who will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. After its triumph at Cleveland on Friday, Toronto has recorded consecutive victories for the first time since January 25-31, when the club won three in a row.
The Raptors also pulled out the win without injured point guard Chris Childs and veteran guard Dell Curry, who left the game with 3:26 remaining in the first quarter due to back spasms and did not return.
In their previous visit to the Air Canada Centre on December 16, the Wizards overcame a 19-point first-quarter deficit to earn a victory. On Sunday, Toronto appeared likely to waste another double-digit lead at home against Washington.
Williams, a Washington native, made a basket with just under three minutes to play in the second quarter to give Toronto its biggest lead, 44-31. But the Wizards finished the half with an 8-3 burst. Brendan Haywood hit a jumper as the period expired to close Washington's deficit to 47-39.
"You can't pack it up when your leader is out," Williams said. "You still have to play hard no mater what. We were playing hard with Vince in the lineup. We've had the emotion for a while, but we just couldn't get a win."
Washington overtook Toronto and Richard Hamilton, who had 21 points to lead the Wizards' five double-figure scorers, made a layup with 3:11 to play and increased the advantage to 87-81.
But the Raptors closed the game on an 11-4 run. Davis made 1-of-2 free throws and Keon Clark put home a dunk to pull the Raptors within 87-84.
Davis went 9-of-11 from the line as he made just 4-of-14 from the field.
"He wasn't hitting the shots early but he was doing all the other little things and then, all of a sudden he'd hit three or four shots," Raptors coach Lenny Wilkens said. "That rebound at the end of the game was key."
After Jordan scored, Peterson hit a jumper and free throw to make it a one-point game with 89 seconds remaining.
"We made the plays at the end and that is what counts," Peterson said. "We knew that Jordan would get the ball and Jerome was right on him. The ball went in and out and I'm glad that it went out."
Jordan answered with a fadeaway jumper, but Williams closed it to 91-90 with 57 seconds to go.
Jordan and Williams each missed a shot for their respective teams before the five-time league MVP committed his third turnover of the game, courtesy of Davis' steal.
"I thought he got fouled on the hand, but there was no call, so there's nothing I can say," Wizards coach Doug Collins said. "We have had four or five calls at the end of games that haven't gone our way."