Thursday, January 23, 2003

Jordan passes Wilt into No. 3

NEW ORLEANS - Michael Jordan passed Wilt Chamberlain but he would rather have found a way to shake Jamal Mashburn.

Jordan hit a fallaway jump shot in the second quarter to pass Chamberlain for third place in career NBA scoring Wednesday night. But with Mashburn hounding him, Jordan scored only two points in the second half on 1-for-7 shooting and the Washington Wizards lost the New Orleans Hornets 103-94.

Afterward, Jordan, who scored 18 points, downplayed his scoring mark.

"It summarizes the effort I've given throughout my career. But the thing about stats is they define you when you're 10 or 20 years past the game," Jordan said. "While you're playing, what matters is wins ... Their defense really kind of got us baffled in the second half and we were not able to get into the rhythm we wanted to get into."

Jordan's milestone basket put his career scoring at 31,420 points in his 1,032nd regular season game. Chamberlain scored 31,419 points in 1,045 regular season games.

Jordan now trails only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 38,387 career points, and Karl Malone, who has 35,487.

Mashburn also scored 27 points to help the Hornets get their third straight victory and spoil a milestone night for Jordan.

"We were trying to give (Jordan) no open looks to the basket, but he's still an exceptional player," Mashburn said. "He can still make plays."

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