Knicks Put a Hurt on the Bulls, 112-75 : NBA: Jordan injures foot in first half but returns to endure the worst loss of his professional career.
Michael Jordan’s foot injury was nothing compared to the pain inflicted on the Chicago Bulls’ pride Saturday.
Jordan, averaging 47.7 points in his previous three games, sat out nine minutes in the first half because of the foot sprain, then returned to play most of the second half of the New York Knicks’ 112-75 rout of the defending NBA champions, the worst loss in his pro career.
“I never give up; I didn’t ask to come out and I wasn’t asked to come out,” Jordan said of why he played so long in the fourth quarter, when the Bulls got no closer than 21 points. “The safest thing would have been to stay out of the game, but I wanted to play. It was a big game and I wanted to come back.”
Jordan missed 16 of 20 shots for the game and scored nine of his season-low 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Knicks pulled away from the Bulls, who shot 31.6 percent for the game and were held to their lowest point total ever against the Knicks.
Patrick Ewing had 26 points and 15 rebounds for New York. The Knicks broke an 11-game regular-season losing streak against the Bulls, facing New York for the first time since last season’s physical playoff series that Chicago won 4-3.
Jordan, with 49, 40 and 54 points in his previous three games, could not get going after leaving the game because of the sprained left foot.
“I went up for a rebound and felt a pop on the way up,” Jordan said. “I was afraid it was more serious. I thought it might be my Achilles at first, but it was the bottom of my foot. After that, I didn’t have much push-off on my jump shots and no push on my drives.”
The Knicks, who scored 100 points for the first time in eight games, handed the Bulls their third loss in 12 games, but their first by more than two points.
The Bulls’ previous low against New York came in a 94-79 loss Feb. 26, 1983. The last time Chicago lost by 37 points was 145-108 to Philadelphia on Nov. 10, 1982.