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NBA FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL --- --- --- --- ----- ATLANTA 20 23 19 28 90 CHICAGO 20 27 26 24 97 FINAL

HIGH SCORERS: ATL - STEVE SMITH 18, ELDRIDGE RECASNER 18 CHI - MICHAEL JORDAN 47, TONI KUKOC 11


ATLANTA (90) AT CHICAGO (97)

ATLANTA REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

LAETTNER F 33 3-10 6-6 2 1 3 0 4 3 2 12 CORBIN F 27 4-7 0-0 0 3 3 1 3 1 1 9 MUTOMBO C 37 2-5 4-7 1 10 11 2 4 0 0 8 SMITH G 34 6-16 4-4 2 2 4 1 6 1 1 18 BLAYLOCK G 7 0-5 0-0 1 1 2 4 0 0 0 0 HENDERSON 28 4-10 4-5 2 4 6 2 3 0 0 12 RECASNER 40 6-12 5-6 0 3 3 1 1 2 2 18 GRAY 15 3-10 1-1 1 1 2 3 2 1 1 7 BROWN 18 1-5 4-4 2 1 3 0 2 1 0 6 CRAWFORD 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ANDERSON DNP - COACH'S DECISION MILLER DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 29-80 28-33 11 26 37 14 25 9 7 90 (.363) (.848) TEAM REBS: 12 TOTAL TO: 8(11 PTS)

CHICAGO REBOUNDS PLAYER POS MIN FGM-FGA FTM-FTA OFF-DEF-TOT AST PF ST TO PTS ====== === === ======= ======= =========== === == == == ===

KUKOC F 41 5-14 3-7 2 1 3 2 3 0 1 13 RODMAN F 40 3-7 0-0 9 20 29 5 5 1 3 6 LONGLEY C 28 3-11 4-4 0 4 4 4 4 0 1 10 HARPER G 27 4-8 0-1 3 1 4 2 2 1 0 8 JORDAN G 36 18-26 11-13 2 2 4 2 2 3 4 47 WENNINGTON 15 3-7 1-1 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 7 BURRELL 6 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 BROWN 13 1-5 2-2 1 1 2 1 2 0 1 4 KERR 20 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 CAFFEY 9 0-2 2-2 1 0 1 0 4 0 1 2 BUECHLER 5 0-0 0-0 3 1 4 2 3 0 0 0 KLEINE DNP - COACH'S DECISION

TOTALS 240 37-85 23-30 22 32 54 21 28 5 12 97 (.435) (.767) TEAM REBS: 8 TOTAL TO: 13(9 PTS)

ATLANTA 20 23 19 28 - 90 CHICAGO 20 27 26 24 - 97

BLOCKED SHOTS: ATLANTA - MUTOMBO 3. CHICAGO - KUKOC, LONGLEY, JORDAN, BROWN, CAFFEY. 3-PT. FIELD GOALS: ATLANTA 4-12 (.333), CORBIN 1-3, SMITH 2-4, BLAYLOCK 0-2, RECASNER 1-2, BROWN 0-1. CHICAGO 0-4 (.000), KUKOC 0-1, HARPER 0-1, BURRELL 0-1, KERR 0-1. TECHNICALS: ATLANTA - CORBIN (EJECTED), SMITH, CHICAGO - HEAD COACH JACKSON, KERR. OFFICIALS: JACK NIES, DERRICK STAFFORD, MIKE SMITH. A - 24,131. T - 2:15.


ATLANTA (90) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Laettner 33 3-10 6-6 2-3 0 4 12 Corbin 27 4-7 0-0 0-3 1 3 9 Mutombo 37 2-5 4-7 1-11 2 4 8 Smith 34 6-16 4-4 2-4 1 6 18 Blaylock 7 0-5 0-0 1-2 4 0 0 Henderson 28 4-10 4-5 2-6 2 3 12 Recasner 40 6-12 5-6 0-3 1 1 18 Gray 15 3-10 1-1 1-2 3 2 7 Brown 18 1-5 4-4 2-3 0 2 6 Crawford 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Anderson DNP - coach's decision Miller DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 29-80 28-33 11-37 14 25 90 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.363, FT-.848. 3-Point Goals: 4-12, .333 (Corbin 1-3, Smith 2-4, Blaylock 0-2, Recasner 1-2, Brown 0-1). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 3 (Mutombo 3). Turnovers: 8 (Laettner 2, Recasner 2, Corbin, Gray, Smith). Steals: 9 (Laettner 3, Recasner 2, Brown, Corbin, Gray, Smith).

CHICAGO (97) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Kukoc 41 5-14 3-7 2-3 2 3 13 Rodman 40 3-7 0-0 9-29 5 5 6 Longley 28 3-11 4-4 0-4 4 4 10 Harper 27 4-8 0-1 3-4 2 2 8 Jordan 36 18-26 11-13 2-4 2 2 47 Wennington 15 3-7 1-1 1-1 0 2 7 Burrell 6 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 Brown 13 1-5 2-2 1-2 1 2 4 Kerr 20 0-3 0-0 0-2 2 1 0 Caffey 9 0-2 2-2 1-1 0 4 2 Buechler 5 0-0 0-0 3-4 2 3 0 Kleine DNP - coach's decision _______________________________________________ TOTALS 240 37-85 23-30 22-54 21 28 97 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.435, FT-.767. 3-Point Goals: 0-4, .000 (Kukoc 0-1, Harper 0-1, Burrell 0-1, Kerr 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 5 (Kukoc, Longley, Jordan, Brown, Caffey). Turnovers: 13 (Jordan 4, Rodman 3, Brown, Burrell, Caffey, Kukoc, Longley). Steals: 5 (Jordan 3, Harper, Rodman). ____________________________________________ Atlanta 20 23 19 28 - 90 Chicago 20 27 26 24 - 97 ____________________________________________ Technical fouls: Atlanta 2 (Corbin (ejected), 3:35 3rd; Smith, 3:35 3rd). Chicago 2 (Head Coach Jackson, 1:06 1st; Kerr, 1:01 3rd). Flagrant fouls: None. A: 24,131. T: 2:15. Officials: Jack Nies, Derrick Stafford, Mike Smith.


GAME RECAP

Michael Jordan scored 47 points and Dennis Rodman grabbed a league season-high 29 rebounds as they carried the Chicago Bulls to the top of the Eastern Conference with a 97-90 victory over the struggling Atlanta Hawks.

Working primarily against 6-8 Steve Smith and rookie Ed Gray, Jordan was 18-of-26 of the field and sank 11-of-13 foul shots. Without the benefit of a three-pointer, he was just two points shy of his own NBA season high, set November 21st in double overtime against the Los Angeles Clippers.

"This is probably the best rhythmn I've had in a game this year," Jordan said. "I just felt strong all night."

Jordan scored in double figures for the 786th consecutive game, one behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's all-time record. He can tie the mark Monday against Dallas and break it Tuesday at Minnesota.

Rodman continued hoarding boards at an astounding rate. The six-time defending rebound champion surpassed New Jersey Nets center Jayson Williams' 26 rebounds against Cleveland on November 13th and is averaging 21 rebounds over his last six games.

"Rodman has been the difference during this seven-game winning streak," Jordan said. "He has given us a lot of scoring opportunities by getting a lot of offensive rebounds. He's given us a big lift."

Together, Jordan and Rodman have compensated for the absence of injured All-Star forward Scottie Pippen and have erased a slow start that saw Chicago split its first eight games. The Bulls have won seven in a row to vault one-half game past the Hawks into first place in the Central Division with a 19-9 mark.

"We anticipated the Hawks would come out and try to defend first place in our division," Bulls coach Phil Jackson said. "Fortunately for us, they seemed to wear down in the second half.

"Dennis played great from the start in several aspects. He hustled after the ball and dominated the offensive boards. Coupled with Michael's shooting, we were able to hold on for the win."

Chicago, which is a league-best 14-1 with 10 straight wins at home, also is one-half game better than first-place Miami (18-9) in the Atlantic Division.

"We've been aiming to get back to the top," Jordan said. "Now, it's going to be tough to maintain it. We've had a lot of games at home as of late. Now we have to try to sustain our good play."

Smith and Eldridge Recasner scored 18 points apiece for the Hawks, who have dropped a season-high five straight games. They began the season with 11 straight wins and were 4 1/2 games ahead of Chicago on November 28th but have collapsed.

The frustration showed for Atlanta in the third quarter when forward Tyrone Corbin tussled with Bulls forward Jud Buechler and received a technical foul before being ejected. Smith also received a technical foul for arguing.

"I can't really say anything," Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens said. "I think the chief official of the NBA (Darell Garretson) was out there. Hopefully, he saw something."

Atlanta was without point guard Mookie Blaylock for much of the game. Blaylock started despite a strained groin but missed all five of his shots in seven minutes and did not return.

"We can't make any excuses about not having Mookie on the floor," Smith said. "They have an injured All-Star themselves. I thought the game got a little out of hand and of course I can't talk about the officiating, but it got a little bizarre out there."

Gray's layup gave the Hawks a 27-22 lead with 9:30 left in the second quarter before Jordan went to work, scoring nine points in a 15-5 run. A layup by Kukoc capped the burst at 37-32 with 5:46 remaining and the Bulls settled for a 47-43 halftime lead as Jordan scored 17 points in the period.

A three-point play by Dikembe Mutombo pulled Atlanta into a 51-51 tie with 7:59 left in the third quarter, but Jordan scored eight points in a 13-4 spurt that widened the lead to 64-55 with 3:35 left in the period. The run was capped by technical foul shots by Jordan following the altercation between Buechler and Corbin.

Gray's jumper cut the deficit to 77-72 with 7:10 to play before Jordan scored all nine points in a 9-2 burst that sealed matters at 86-74 with 3:36 remaining.

Kukoc scored 13 points and Luc Longley added 10 for the Bulls, who shot 43.5 percent (37-of-85) from the field and held a 54-37 edge on the glass. Rodman had nine offensive rebounds, six points and five assists.

"Jordan was great but Rodman had a terrific game," Wilkens said. "He really worked the boards and that hurt us."

Christian Laettner and Alan Henderson scored 12 points apiece for the Hawks, who shot 36 percent (29-of-80) and fell to 1-1 against the Bulls this season.

"We played a good game most of the way," Mutombo said. "In the third quarter, they just started playing a little dirty. They tried to take our minds off the game. I wouldn't say there is bad blood between the teams, but we definitely were not in it the rest of the way."

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