PORTLAND, Ore., March 26 (UPI) -- Tyronn Lue scored 10 of his season-high 21 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night to help Washington surprise Portland, 95-91.
Lue's outburst included several rally-killing baskets as the Wizards snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Trail Blazers.
"I just wanted to go out and play aggressive," Lue said. "Coach (Doug Collins) told me to go out and play my game. If he gave me a chance to start, I just wanted to take advantage of it and just play aggressive, and that's what I did."
"T's been struggling with a lot of personal problems," Collins said. "He's got a lot of family issues right now. He's one of our most sensitive, compassionate guys. I spoke with him the other day and I said the best thing you can do for your family right now is play great so when you call them on the phone you can have some good news for them. I was really happy the way he responded."
Michael Jordan scored 25 points and Jerry Stackhouse added 24 for the Wizards, who moved within one-half game of Milwaukee for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Bucks lost at San Antonio.
"We needed this win badly because it is easy to start losing confidence and I did not want our guys to do that," Collins said. "We are still in the thick of things, and the longer we stay in the thick of things, good things can happen."
"We came down and we kept running our stuff, and we were getting good looks," Stackhouse said. "Lue made some big plays for us down the stretch, and made some runs when things did break down. We got the ball in his hands and he made some plays. He was huge for us tonight."
"I was really proud of the team tonight," Collins said. "I thought we showed a lot of composure when we had to. This is one of the best crowds in the NBA, and when they get revved up and that music starts playing, they really swarm defensively, and when we had to we made our shots."
The Wizards, who snapped a three-game road losing streak, shot 51 percent (41-of-80) from the field as they improved to 1-2 on their tough six-game western road trip.
"He's the greatest player ever," said Portland Coach Maurice Cheeks about Jordan, who was playing in his final game at the Rose Garden and received cheers every time he scored. "I was privileged to be on the floor in his last game in Portland, (but) I didn't like seeing him go 11-of-19 from the floor. We needed to send him off from Portland a little differently."
The Wizards jumped out to a 19-8 lead and took a 23-15 advantage into the second quarter. Washington led, 47-39, at the break, and 71-62 entering the final 12 minutes.
"I think we came out and got out of the box quick and established ourselves really early," Jordan said. "Jahidi (White) gave us a great presence in the middle, and T-Lue played extremely well tonight."
Wells contributed 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Rasheed Wallace added 16 points for Portland, which fell one game behind Minnesota for fourth place in the Western Conference standings.