NBA Roundup : Cavaliers Slow Jordan and Beat Bulls, 103-98
It’s virtually impossible to stop Michael Jordan, but the Cleveland Cavaliers found a way to slow him down.
With Craig Ehlo doing much of the work, the Cavaliers limited Jordan to 5 points in the fourth quarter and beat the Chicago Bulls, 103-98, Thursday night at Cleveland for their 10th straight victory.
“If you want to say Ehlo stopped me, you can,” said Jordan, who scored 20 of his 32 points in the first half. “But it was really good team defense. (Ehlo) was trying to force me to the middle, where he had help if I penetrated. Every time I beat him, he had help.”
That was the plan, Ehlo said.
Jordan had only 2 points in the fourth quarter until he hit a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left, when the game was all but over.
“We’ve been working on pushing him toward help for the past 2 days,” Ehlo said. “He just wasn’t as aggressive as he has been in the past. But as many minutes as he plays, I’m sure he gets exhausted.”
Cleveland, whose 23-5 record is the NBA’s best, extended its club record for consecutive victories in a season and matched the overall record of 10 achieved at the end of 1977-78 and the beginning of 1978-79.
Ron Harper turned the game in Cleveland’s favor by scoring 7 straight points to give the Cavaliers a 97-90 lead with 1:40 left.
Larry Nance scored 24 points for Cleveland, and Harper added 20.
San Antonio 119, Philadelphia 104--Rookie Willie Anderson scored 36 points at San Antonio, and the Spurs handed the 76ers their fourth straight defeat.
Anderson, who hit 18 of 26 shots, scored 10 points in the first 5:22 of the third period, but Philadelphia rallied for a 70-69 lead. However, San Antonio scored 7 straight points to take the lead for good, 76-70.
Charles Barkley had 23 points for the 76ers.
Seattle 120, Sacramento 106--Dale Ellis scored a career-high 49 points and started a fourth-quarter string of 9 shots without a miss as the Sonics won their ninth consecutive game at home by downing the Kings at Seattle.
Ellis broke an 86-86 tie with 2 straight jumpers, and the Sonics made their next 7 shots to break open the game, outscoring Sacramento, 34-20, in the final quarter.
Jim Petersen had 23 points for the Kings.
Denver 131, Golden State 129--Alex English scored 5 of his 37 points in an 11-4 run that broke a 105-105 tie, and the Nuggets held off the Warriors at Denver.
The win was Denver’s 12th straight at home over the Warriors, who have not won at McNichols Arena since April 5, 1984.
Chris Mullin scored 35 points for Golden State, and Walter Davis added 31 for Denver.