- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 22, 2002

DENVER (AP) Michael Jordan made his first preseason appearance last night, playing 14 minutes and scoring eight points as the Washington Wizards beat the Denver Nuggets 96-73.

Jordan, who had missed the Wizards' first five exhibition games to rest his ailing right knee, scored a team-high six points in the third quarter, including a steal and fastbreak layup on the other end.

Jordan played the final 7:13 of the second quarter and the first 7:15 of the third quarter, coming off the bench in what apparently will be his role this season as Washington's sixth man.

Coach Doug Collins said before the game that Jordan probably would play about 14 minutes, and he was true to his word.

Jordan also will play in the Wizards' other two exhibitions to get ready for the season opener at Toronto on Oct.30.

Jordan hit the first shot he took, a 20-foot turnaround jumper three minutes after entering the game.

Larry Hughes scored 19 points in the first half on 9-of-12 shooting to help the Wizards take a 52-38 halftime lead. He finished with 21.

Christian Laettner had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards (5-1).

Jerry Stackhouse scored 12 points on 1-of-11 shooting. He was 9-for-9 from the line.

Denver (1-5) was led by Juwan Howard with 17 points. James Posey had nine points, and rookie Nene Hilario added eight points and nine rebounds.

Denver led 8-4 on Howard's hook shot, but the Wizards scored the next seven points, including Bryon Russell's 3-pointer, and didn't surrender the lead again.

Hughes had 11 points in the first 8:07. He had two baskets early in the second quarter as Washington increased its lead to double digits.

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