Jordan Can’t Bail Out Bulls
Michael Jordan’s three-point try rimmed out with one second left, and the Cleveland Cavaliers held Chicago to season lows in points and field goal shooting to beat the Bulls for the first time in two years, 73-70, Thursday at Cleveland.
The Bulls also had their worst three-point shooting performance of the season, making one of 14 against Cleveland’s league-leading defense.
Chicago fell off pace to repeat last season’s 72 wins.
The Bulls, who had 50 wins in 56 games last season, fell to 49-7. They will have to go 23-3 to equal the record.
Still, Dennis Rodman wasn’t all that concerned about Chicago’s first loss since Feb. 5.
“So we lost one. So?” Rodman said. “Now we have to try to get back on track. I think we have the ability to do that, don’t you?”
Cleveland’s third sellout crowd of the season stood and roared as Jordan, who has ended so many Cleveland playoff runs, threatened to again thwart the Cavaliers. But his three-point shot from the left side came off the rim to Terrell Brandon, who tossed the ball away at the buzzer.
“It was a busted play and I tried to get a good feel for the ball but couldn’t,” said Jordan, whose career high of 69 came against the Cavaliers in 1990. “It just was an off-night for us. There really is no other explanation for it.”
Cleveland rookie Vitaly Potapenko had his best game of the season with eight of his 12 points in the fourth quarter.
It was clear the Bulls were in trouble when Rodman became their leading scorer with 10 points on a basket that cut the Cavaliers’ lead to 50-38 with 7:39 left in the third.
Utah 118, Toronto 114--Karl Malone scored 32 points, including eight in a row in the final 2:42, to help the Jazz win at Salt Lake City.
Malone finished with a triple-double, the second of his career, with 13 rebounds and 10 assists, but the Jazz saw a 15-point fourth quarter lead nearly disappear.
Minnesota 107, Dallas 105--Tom Gugliotta’s 17-foot jumper with 2.6 seconds left in the second overtime gave the Timberwolves a victory at Dallas.
The Timberwolves, who moved two games over .500 for the first time in franchise history, scored the final six points of the game while holding the Mavericks scoreless for the final 2:33.
Kevin Garnett had 23 points, Gugliotta 22 and Stephon Marbury added 20 as the Timberwolves won their fourth in a row.
Rookie Erick Strickland led Dallas with a career-high 25 points before fouling out in the second overtime.
Charlotte 106, Houston 95--Glen Rice scored 12 of his 24 points in the third quarter as the Hornets won their first game at the Summit.