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Wizards Lose Critical Game to Celtics - 2003-04-10

Michael Jordan and the Washington Wizards hoped celebrating the 25th anniversary of the team's last National Basketball Association championship would bring them the win they needed to improve their playoff hopes. But it was the Boston Celtics who clinched a post-season berth with an 87-83 victory.

The Wizards, dressed in their Washington Bullets uniforms to commemorate their championship a quarter century ago, got off to a cold start as Boston jumped out to an early 15-2 lead. The Wizards fought back gamely, and led by Michael Jordan's 21 points and 10 rebounds, took an 83-82 lead late in the game. But a three-pointer by JR Bremer with 19 seconds left put the Celtics ahead to stay, and they went on to win 87-83. Jordan says it was a critical loss.

"This one we really needed, because it moves us closer to out of the playoff than into the playoffs. So it was a big game," he said.

The Wizards playoff hopes are fading fast. With four games left they are now 2.5 games behind the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks, who have three games left, trounced the Los Angeles Clippers, 112-92.