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Jordan, Bulls Down Knicks 102-89


From his shoes to his shots, it was vintage Michael Jordan in what may have been his last game at Madison Square Garden.

Jordan wearing an original pair of red, white and black Air Jordan sneakers from his rookie season, scored 42 points Sunday with a dazzling display of shooting as the Chicago Bulls beat the New York Knicks 102-89.

Jordan shot 17-for-33 from the field, with some of his baskets coming on moves as outlandish as his signature line of shoes were considered back in 1984 when they first came out of the box.

JordanÂ's evening included a pair of over-the-shoulder shots with his back facing the basket on which he was fouled, an array of fadeaway jumpers from all angles and a 360-degree spin ending in a slam that would have done him proud back in his dunk contest days.

When he finally checked out with 1:03 remaining and the Bulls ahead by 13, the sellout crowd of 19,763 gave a 15-second standing ovation to one of its greatest tormenters.

Scottie Pippen added 25 points and Dennis Rodman had 20 rebounds for the Bulls, who were playing a team with a winning record for the first time since Feb. 25.

Allan Houston scored 24 points, Larry Johnson added 20 and Charlie Ward had a career-high 15 assists for New York, which was outscored 28-18 in the fourth quarter and lost its third straight.

Jordan scored 40 or more for the ninth time this season and 192nd time in his career. It was the seventh time he had scored 40 or more at the Garden and the 24th time he had scored 30 or more.

This was Jordan's 39th game on the Knicks' home court, and he gave a hint that it would be a special one when he came out wearing the old Nikes he first donned as a rookie. The shoes were a size 12½ and Jordan now wears a 13½, so he had a spare pair of new shoes waiting under the Bulls bench.

He was challenged shot for shot in the first quarter by Allan Houston of the Knicks, who outscored Jordan 13-11 in the period.

Jordan added six more points in the second quarter, which ended with New York leading 46-43, and 12 more in the third when Chicago took the lead for good behind a 10-0 run featuring two 3-pointers by Toni Kukoc.

Jordan's final 13 points came in the fourth quarter, when Chicago steadily pulled away to beat the Knicks for the third time this season.

Notes: Bulls center Luc Longley did not make the trip due to a strained left knee. He is expected to play Tuesday night at Miami. ... Ward reached double figures in both points and assists for the first time this season. His previous career-high was 12 assists. ... The Bulls improved to 23-1 when scoring 100 or more points. The Knicks dropped to 1-7 when allowing an opponent 100 more more.

© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

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