NBA : Jordan's Surge Stops the Knicks

From Associated Press

Michael Jordan scored 14 of his 42 points during the fourth quarter Friday night, and the Chicago Bulls held New York to 28 points during the second half of an 89-77 victory over the Knicks.

The outcome turned around the worst regular-season defeat of Jordan's eight-year career, a 112-75 loss at New York on Nov. 28, and kept Chicago in first place in the conference standings, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Knicks.

"When we have to raise our level of basketball, we know we can do it," Jordan said. "We put them on their heels, and then we got the KO punch."

The Bulls opened the final period with a 64-62 lead after Jordan led a comeback that overcame a 10-point halftime deficit.

With Chicago trailing by 49-39, Jordan scored the first eight points of the third period and 10 during a 12-0 run that carried the Bulls to their first lead since the opening quarter. Patrick Ewing ended the Knicks' drought after 6:01 with a short jumper, but New York shot only 28.6% (six of 21) during the period.

The Knicks were outscored by 25-13 during the third quarter and by 25-15 during the final period.

"We didn't play with the same intensity or attitude that we had in the first half. We attacked all the time," Knick Coach Pat Riley said. "In the second half, we just sat back and waited for them to come to us. We wound up fighting for our lives."

Jordan scored six of the Bulls' first 12 fourth-quarter points as they took a 76-68 lead. Rolando Blackman, who scored 17 points for New York, matched two of Jordan's jumpers during that stretch.

But after Blackman's 15-footer at 7:51, the Knicks stumbled through the next six minutes without a basket.

The Bulls' victory, their third in a row, ended New York's winning streak at five.

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