Basketball: Jordan fuels Wizards' title hopes

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The Independent Online

Michael Jordan had his doubters when he decided to come out of retirement at the age of 38. The best player in the history of the game may not have given the Washington Wizards an immediate spark, but that is changing now.

Playing against Vince Carter, now regarded as one of the best in the game, Jordan made critical baskets as the Wizards fought back from a 19point deficit to beat the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.

The Wizards held Carter scoreless in the second half and pulled away for a 93-88 win. Washington are now on a six-game winning streak for the first time in four years, fuelling hopes that a play-off place may be within reach for the perennial doormats.

"It's tough to come here and play Carter after only watching him on TV," Jordan said. "It took me a whole quarter just to figure out what his tendencies are and to take some of his rhythm away."

Carter scored 19 points in the first quarter, but was luckless after the interval and picked up his fifth foul in the third quarter. By that time, the Wizards had rallied to take the lead behind Jordan, who made four straight shots in the period.

"We lost eight games in a row and now I think the guys are starting to accept their roles. I'm just trying to keep everybody in a positive sense," Jordan said.