Jordan scored 15 of his 36 points during the third quarter to help lead the Chicago Bulls past the Pistons, 115-99, at Chicago, but was anyone hotter than Detroit's Mahorn?
With 9:01 left in the third quarter, Jordan grabbed an offensive rebound and faked Mahorn off his feet. Mahorn hooked Jordan around the neck and threw him to the ground, after which Jordan and teammate Charles Oakley went after Mahorn, with both benches clearing onto the floor.
When Doug Collins tried to intervene, Mahorn pushed the Chicago coach onto the scorer's table before officials Earl Strom and Jess Thompson restored order. Mahorn and Oakley were ejected from the game, but not before Mahorn landed two hard rights to Oakley's face.
At the time, the Bulls led, 57-52. Jordan sank two free throws to extend the lead to 59-52 and then sparked a 10-4 Chicago run to give the Bulls a 69-56 cushion.
In the fourth quarter, Detroit's Adrian Dantley, who had 20 points, and Jordan, who also had 10 rebounds and 10 assists, engaged in a heated shouting and shoving match when Jordan was fouled by Dantley.
"There is no doubt in my mind that both Mahorn and Dantley were attempting to injure me, not just prevent me from scoring, and that's what infuriated me," Jordan said.
"But Detroit thinks they can intimidate us. And while Mahorn and Dantley had every right to prevent me from getting an easy two points, it did not give them the right to purposely try to injure me and knock me out of the game."
Said Collins: "I was glad to see Oakley go out and defend Michael and go after Mahorn, because I told my players before the game we usually have a physical game with Detroit and we can't afford to back off. My plan was to try and pin Mahorn's arms by pulling his jersey over his head, the same way hockey players fight."
Mark Aguirre scored 32 points for the Mavericks, who grabbed only 7 offensive rebounds to Atlanta's 23. Dallas had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Derek Harper and Brad Davis missed three-point attempts in the final 10 seconds.
The Hawks scored 15 baskets on offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Mavericks, 49-31.
"No doubt the game was won on the offensive boards," Atlanta's Glenn Rivers said. "Coming into the game we were really concerned about their big guys pounding the offensive glass. As it turned out, we dominated there. The absence of (Rolando) Blackman (sidelined by a leg injury) really makes a difference for them."
The Celtics led, 81-79, after three quarters, but opened the fourth by scoring seven straight points to open their largest margin of the game. The Nets later tied it, 91-91, but Boston responded with a six-point run to reclaim the lead for good.
Boston's Danny Ainge hit a three-point shot in the first quarter to extend his NBA record to 19 straight games with a basket from that range.
New York 110, Philadelphia 96--Johnny Newman scored 21 points, and Patrick Ewing grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds to lead the Knicks at New York and drop the 76ers seven games behind the Celtics in the Atlantic Division--the biggest lead in the league.
Charles Barkley had 32 points and Maurice Cheeks 21 for the 76ers, who won 6 of 7 previous games. New York, which had lost 5 of 6, beat Philadelphia for the first time in three tries this season.
Portland 121, San Antonio 120--In a game that had five lead changes in the last two minutes, Terry Porter hit an 18-foot jumper from the corner with three seconds left to give the Trail Blazers the win at San Antonio, Tex.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Spurs, their longest of the season.
Clyde Drexler led Portland with 33 points. Mike Mitchell, Frank Brickowski and Leon Wood each scored 21 for the Spurs.
Denver 115, Golden State 94--The Warriors remained winless on the road this season by shooting 24.6% in the first half to trail by 28 at the intermission.
Alex English scored 25 points for the Nuggets, who had a 31-point lead in the second quarter. The Warriors never got closer than 13 points in the second half.