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Bulls Run Down Hawks At The Buzzer

Michael Jordan's 15-foot jumper at the buzzer lifted Chicago to a 112-110 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, salvaging the Bulls after they squandered a 23-point lead.

Jordan finished with 37 points, scoring 12 of the Bulls' final 15 points and once again bailing them out in the stretch.

His jumper with 10.8 seconds left put Chicago ahead 110-108. But Steve Smith, who scored 26 to lead the Hawks, then hit a pair of free throws to tie the game with 4.3 seconds to go.

After a timeout, Toni Kukoc inbounded the ball to Jordan, who dribbled past Smith and Chucky Brown before hitting the game-winner.

A frustrated Smith reached over and shook Jordan's hand after the shot.

Atlanta's Mookie Blaylock hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute, the second tying the game at 108 with 34 seconds left.

Dikembe Mutombo had 24 points and Blayock and Alan Henderson 20 each for Atlanta. Scottie Pippen scored 24 for Chicago.

The Bulls led 91-68 with 1:35 left in the third quarter and were ahead 91-74 after three periods when Jordan took a seat on the bench.

He returned minutes later, when the Hawks got back in the game behind Brown, who scored 11 points in a 21-4 run to cut the lead to six with seven minutes left.

Jordan's jumper with 3:30 left put Chicago ahead 101-94 but Blaylock and Smith connected on 3-pointers and Smith made a runner with two minutes to go, cutting Chicago's lead to 103-102.

Dennis Rodman had three free throws in the final minute for Chicago.

Chicago went up by as many as 18 in the second quarter and led 64-49 at the half as Jordan hit a corner jumper over Mutombo right before the buzzer. He then gave the big Hawks center a slap on the rear as the teams left the floor. Jordan had 19 points in the first half.

He finished the game 14-of-22 from the field.

NOTES: Rodman had just four rebounds in 34 minutes. ...Mutombo was hit in the eye during the first half, an injury that forced him to the sidelines for nearly six minutes. ...Christian Laettner missed his second straight game because of the flu.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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