Bulls 111 Nets 101RICK GANO , Associated Press
Mar. 29, 1997 10:57 PM ET
CHICAGO (AP) _ Scottie Pippen scored 31 points and Michael Jordan had 21 as the Chicago Bulls blew a 17-point lead before beating the New Jersey Nets 111-101 Saturday night for their seventh straight victory.
Jordan made 9-of-21 shots _ he's just 23-of-58 in the last three games _ but had 13 of his points in the final quarter and also added 10 assists as the Bulls finally pulled away.
New Jersey had given Chicago one of its nine losses this season in the teams' previous meeting earlier this month.
Jim Jackson scored a season-high 33 to lead the Nets. Sam Cassell, who jawed with Jordan during the game, scored 29 but had only six in the second half.
With Jordan and Pippen resting on the bench in the second period, the Bulls used a 15-6 run to build up a 50-33 lead.
Seconds after the Bulls stars re-entered the game, the Nets ran off 15 straight points, 11 by Cassell. New Jersey got the lead down to one and trailed by only three at the half.
The Nets then scored the first four of the third quarter to take a 57-56 lead and led once more at 62-61. Chicago moved ahead 78-72 after three quarters.
Jordan then scored opening the fourth quarter, giving him 10 points, and Toni Kukoc hit an over-the-shoulder layup for a 10-point lead. Jordan later added a 4-point play in the quarter.
NOTES: Jordan was frustrated and Steve Kerr jubilant in the Bulls locker room before Saturday night's game. They were watching their alma maters, North Carolina and Arizona, face one another in the NCAA semifinals. Late in second half, Jordan came from the training room into the locker room and shut off a TV that was showing the game. ``Man, they're playing street ball. ... I'm walking my frustration off,'' he said. Moments later he took an Arizona T-shirt that had been hung in his locker and stuffed it in a garbage can. After Arizona's victory, Kerr showed off a $20 bill he said he won from Jordan. ``It's worth a lot more than this,'' he said. Chicago's Jud Buechler also played at Arizona. ... Jordan began the game wearing a black patch on the right shoulder strap of his jersey _ the reason was not immediately known _ but it had disappeared by the second quarter. ... Bulls backup center Bill Wennington hurt his left foot in the fourth quarter.