- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2003


Seen and heard yesterday at MCI Center:
WE OWN YOU: The Mavericks' victory over the Washington Wizards meant Dallas still is the only team in the league that has not lost at MCI Center. The Mavericks haven't lost at Washington since March 29, 1997, when the home team was known as the Bullets and played at USAirways Arena. MCI Center opened in the fall of 1997.
A REAL DOUBLE STANDARD: Michael Jordan and Jerry Stackhouse each finished with 30 points, marking the first time two Wizards have scored 30 in a game since Richard Hamilton and Juwan Howard did it against the Los Angeles Clippers on Dec. 17, 2000.
COUCH POTATO: When Jordan went up for his 18-footer with a chance to win the game in regulation, Michael Finley of the Mavericks, a workout buddy of Jordan's during the summer, wanted the shot to rim out which it did as much as anyone in the building.
But if the Wizards' opponent was anybody other than the Mavericks, Finley would have been rooting for Jordan to nail it.
"If I was at home, I'd probably hope that he'd make it," Finley said. "Going up against him I knew that the possibility of him making the shot was pretty good. We just wanted to make it tough for him. If it went in, we'd just continue to be a part of history, but fortunately for us he missed."
READY TO ROLL: Juan Dixon's 16 points helped the Wizards stay close to the Mavericks, but Dixon struggled from behind the 3-point line (2-for-10).
However, Dixon, who will play a more prominent role in the rotation now that Larry Hughes (sprained ankle) is lost until at least the second week in March, said he is ready to contribute to the Wizards' playoff push over the final 27 games of the season.
"I'm exited about it," said Dixon, who played 28 minutes. "It's an opportunity for me to show the coaches that I can produce and that I can help the team win. I've got to step up. When I get the minutes you'll definitely see some production when I get out there. I've been a little down on myself because I missed some easy shots against Utah, Sacramento and the Clippers. But right now I have a lot of confidence in myself."
MINUTES MEN: Jordan's 52 minutes were one shy of his season high (53 vs. Indiana on Jan. 4). Stackhouse, like Jordan, played 52 of a possible 53 minutes, a season high.
John N. Mitchell


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