They used to call the Chicago Bulls a one-man team. Against New Jersey, they almost were.
Michael Jordan scored almost half of Chicago's points in Tuesday night's 90-79 victory over the injured-riddled Nets at the Meadowlands. Eleven of his 40 points came during an 18-0 fourth-quarter run that clinched the Bulls' seventh straight win and 10th in their last 11 games.Jordan personally outscored the Nets 13-9 in the final quarter, when the Bulls held New Jersey to one basket in the last nine minutes.
"It's a good thing for me to be able to take over," Jordan said, "but I don't want to rely on that too much."
New Jersey, playing without Derrick Coleman, Sam Bowie and Kenny Anderson, took a 74-65 lead with 9:05 left on a jumper by Drazen Petrovic, who finished with 26 points. But the Nets didn't score a point in the next seven minutes as Jordan went wild.
In addition to his big scoring night, Jordan had 10 rebounds and four assists.
"I've seen this a few times before," said Chris Dudley, who started in place of Bowie at center. "When he gets going, you just say, `Oh no!' You just try to slow him down, but he's a great player. He really took over the game."
Knicks 99, Magic 86
At Orlando, Patrick Ewing scored 25 points and New York used a 17-6 run in the final three minutes to beat the Magic.
The Knicks built a 22-point lead early in the third quarter but allowed Orlando to battle back to 82-80 on a 3-pointer by Chris Corchiani with 5:28 remaining.
New York then scored the next nine points during a 17-second stretch to put away the Magic, who have lost 21 of their last 25 games. Bucks 127, Celtics 106
At Milwaukee, Dale Ellis scored 22 points and Jay Humphries had nine of his 21 points in the decisive third quarter as the Bucks cruised.
Alvin Robertson had 17 points and Frank Brickowski 14 for the Bucks. Kevin Gamble finished with 20 points, while Rick Fox added 16 for the Celtics, who played without guard Dee Brown (thigh bruise).
Rockets 100, Clippers 92
At Houston, Vernon Maxwell scored 16 of his 20 points in the third quarter and Hakeem Olajuwon had 21 points, 18 rebounds and five blocks as the Rockets beat Los Angeles.
The victory was the Rockets' eighth in a row at home and gave them a 21/2-game lead over the Clippers for the No. 7 playoff position in the Western Conference.
The Rockets took command in the third quarter, starting with consecutive 3-point baskets by Maxwell.
Nuggets 118, Kings 100
At Denver, Reggie Williams scored nine of his 27 points during a 17-2 second-period run as the Nuggets handed Sacramento its ninth straight loss. Denver, which broke a two-game losing streak, outrebounded Sacramento 51-34 and converted 18 Kings' turnovers into 28 points.
Dikembe Mutombo emerged from his recent slump with 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Nuggets, who got seven steals from Mark Macon.
Suns 92, Mavericks 81
At Phoenix, Kevin Johnson had 18 points and 15 assists, and Dallas went scoreless for 7:15 of the fourth quarter as the Suns handed the Mavericks their 10th consecutive defeat.
Rodney McCray scored a basket 33 seconds into the fourth quarter to give Dallas a 70-69 lead. But the Mavericks, winless in their last 21 road games, did not score again until Rolando Blackman made a 10-footer with 4:12 remaining. The Suns scored 14 straight points during the Mavericks' dry spell.
Warriors 119, SuperSonics 107
At Seattle, Sarunas Marciulionis scored a season-high 30 points and Tim Hardaway added 28 as the Warriors beat the SuperSonics.
The guards also keyed a decisive third-quarter run when Golden State took control with a 19-4 run. Golden State led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter; Seattle never came closer than nine points the rest of the way.
Ricky Pierce led the Sonics with 24 points and Shawn Kemp added 18.
Blazers 111, Timberwolves 91
At Portland, Clyde Drexler scored 13 of his 21 points in the third period as the Trail Blazers handed Minnesota its ninth straight loss.
Kevin Duckworth added 15 points and nine rebounds for Portland. He scored nine points during a 23-4 run that helped the Blazers win for the eighth time in nine games.
Reserve Tony Campbell led Minnesota with 16 points. Danny Ainge scored 15 points for Portland.