Wizards wilt in Jordan’s last game in Phoenix - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Wizards wilt in Jordan’s last game in Phoenix

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Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2003 12:11 am | Updated: 1:27 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Michael Jordan has at least three-plus weeks to go in his unmatched NBA career.

But his team may have retired prematurely.

The Washington Wizards, rolling over early in the game, made for an unusually easy win for the Suns Friday night. The Suns went on a stunning 17-0 run, with the Wizards doing little or nothing to change things up or slow down the Suns, who then rolled to a 109-83 win at America West Arena.

The 26-point margin of victory was the Suns' biggest this season.

"Best game from start to finish this season," coach Frank Johnson said. "We knew we had to speed up the game. And we did that."

The Suns (36-32) thus matched their win total from last season, with 14 games to play.

But the Suns have their eyes on bigger prizes than this. They're trying to make the playoffs, a finish almost nobody had predicted for them at season's start.

By winning, they kept pace with the Houston Rockets, winners at Golden State. The Rockets also are 36-32 but they own the tie-breaker in case the teams finish with the same record.

Jordan had 14 points and five rebounds in his final Arizona appearance.

None of his friends had a big game, either, notably Jerry Stackhouse, who played lethargically.

Referring to a Suns' loss in the nation's capital on Jan. 27, Johnson said, "In the deliberate game we played in Washington, Jordan and Stackhouse were too good."

For the Suns, Stephon Marbury had 23 points, four rebounds and six assists. Shawn Marion had 18 points, four rebounds and six assists.

Amare Stoudemire had a nice game as well, with 16 points and eight rebounds.

The Suns got off to their traditionally slow start, falling behind 15-9, after a fade-away jumper by Jordan.

But then the Wizards (32-36) started stumbling, and the Suns took advantage.

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