Jordan Crawford stays composed during career night in Chicago


That’s because Jordan Crawford’s eyes were too glued to the rim. After scoring a career-high 27 points in the Wizards’ 98-79 loss to the green-clad Chicago Bulls, Crawford was asked if he had been inspired by the presence of the music legend that hails from his hometown of Detroit. “She was there? I didn’t know,” Crawford said. “I wish somebody had told me.”

Crawford tried to carry the offensive load by himself on a night when the Wizards were searching for offense with leading scoring Nick Young a late scratch with a sore left knee and Josh Howard, Rashard Lewis, Andray Blatche and Cartier Martin also sidelined. He reached his career-high for the second time in four games, scoring in a variety of ways and finding a way to appear controlled in the process -- something he has sometimes failed to do since arriving from Atlanta.

“My teammates did a good job of getting me open. Coach called some good plays, I knocked them down and got comfortable,” said Crawford, who had scored a combined 28 points in his previous two games against the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City. “It’s a blessing. Mo Evans told me, it could be a 360 the next day.”

Crawford inspired the Wizards’ second-quarter rally, scoring 10 points during a 14-4 run that initially brought them back from a 38-21 deficit. He hit three three-pointers and made another long jumper that brought them within 47-46 with 23.3 seconds remaining and got all of his teammates and coaches to get out of their seats and applaud.

But after scoring 15 points in the second quarter, Crawford had earned the R-E-S-P-E-C-T of the Bulls defense and it limited him to just six points in the second half. His decline was partly because of Keith Bogans locking in defensively, but also because Crawford got a tad exhausted playing a career-high 48 minutes.

“He was dead the last six or seven minutes,” Saunders said of Crawford. “I probably should’ve gave him a rest, because he had no legs left. I liked the way he competed. He really competed hard, made some nice plays for people. He was not one dimensional. Shot perimeter shots, got to the rim, did a little bit of everything.”

And after seeing little playing time in Atlanta, Crawford had no problem playing the entire game. “I don’t want it to stop,” Crawford said with a smile.

FROM THE POST

Here is the game story.

Nick Young talks about his worst blind date.

AROUND THE WEB

Sean Deveney chronicles the evolution of Derrick Rose (sportingnews.com).

Matt Moore asks: Why are the Knicks so inconsistent? (Eye on Basketball, CBSSports.com).

NBA referee Bill Spooner’s defamation lawsuit against an AP reporter raises many interesting questions (The Point Forward, SI.com).

Players stepped in seven years ago when the Clippers wouldn’t pay for an assistant coach’s surgery (Racine Journal-News).

Adrian Wojnarowski says the NBA is run by bullies like Clippers ownder Donald Sterling, with the support of Commissioner David Stern (Yahoo!Sports).

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.

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