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The fans see the Chicago Bulls down 3-2 to the Detroit Pistons and on the brink of elimination from the NBA playoffs, but Michael Jordan is concerned with the number 24.

That's the tally of Chicago turnovers in Wednesday night's pivotal 94-85 Pistons' home victory in Game 5 of the best-of-7 Eastern Conference championship.Jordan, held to 18 points as his team lost for the second time in three nights, said the Bulls' playoff survival depends on his team holding onto the ball in Game 6 tonight at Chicago Stadium.

"We've got to come out and take care of the basketball," Jordan said after Thursday's practice.

In tonight's game - the first June contest in the history of the Chicago franchise - Jordan also is concerned with scoring more againt Detroit's tough defense, which has been ganging up on the NBA's three-time scoring champion.

"Hopefully, I can break away from the double and triple teams and get some shots," he said. "I don't think it's in our best interests to force shots."

Detroit's Dennis Rodman said the Pistons have been happy to shut Jordan down, forcing him to dish off the ball to his teammates.

"If Jordan wants to pass, we'll let him pass - we'll let him do that all night," Rodman said.

On Wednesday night, Jordan and his teammates seemed to get colder from the field as the game went on.

"We took our shots in the first half and made them, but we couldn't down the stretch," Jordan said.

"We had the shots to win the ballgame," he said. "We just didn't hit them."

Craig Hodges, who topped Chicago with 19 points, said, "We had our chances. We just didn't execute."

Rodman likens the conference finals, which the Bulls once led 2-1, to a boxing match.

"This has been like two boxers giving each other every punch he has," said Rodman, whose 14 rebounds Wednesday night helped topple Chicago.

But he thinks Detroit has one big advantage.

"I think we tire them out because of our bench strength," Rodman said.

Indeed. The Detroit reserves outscored Chicago 26-2 Wednesday night.