Chicago 96, Vancouver 73

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CHICAGO -- Michael Jordan scored 22 points and Toni Kukoc and Scottie Pippen added 14 apiece as the Chicago Bulls used a pair of second-quarter runs to pull away from the Vancouver Grizzlies and coast to a 96-73 victory Tuesday night.

Dennis Rodman
Rodman slams home two of his 13 points.
The Grizzlies led 27-25 after the first quarter, but the Bulls oustcored them 32-16 in the decisive period. With the score tied 29-29, Pippen tipped in a shot with 8:24 to go in the half to spark a 13-4 burst that culminated in a 3-pointer by Steve Kerr with 5:02 to play.

Dennis Rodman, who had 13 points and 19 rebounds, sparked a 7-1 run in the quarter's final minutes by hitting a driving layup for a 57-40 advantage. Pippen had 10 points in the quarter and Rodman added eight boards.

"It took us a quarter to get used to them," Jordan said. "But it showed the character of this team. In the second quarter, we were able to use our defensive game. And tonight Dennis decided to get in the game offensively. Up until tonight, he had been one-dimensional.

"Tomorrow will be a good battle for us against Miami. We're traveling all night and they'll be waiting for us."

Starters Pippen, Ron Harper and Luc Longley sat out the fourth quarter, and Jordan and Rodman were removed with 8:23 to play and the Bulls ahead 83-56.

Jordan hit nine of 18 shots, added seven rebounds and had four steals for Chicago, which led by as many as 32. Longley blocked five shots.

"They are world champions because of the way they played tonight," Grizzlies coach Brian Winters said. "They're good offensively and terrific defensively. They went up about 10 points and then they put the defensive pressure on us. We couldn't find a way to make a basket.

"We're a young team, but we have to play better than the way we played tonight."

Greg Anthony had 12 of his 13 points in the first quarter for the Grizzlies, who have dropped their first three games. Bryant Reeves added 11 and rookie Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 10.

"My job on this team is to make sure that the young guys don't take losses like tonight too hard," Anthony said. "I'm here to remind them this is only one loss no matter how devastating the night was. It's still only one game.

"The Bulls are the best basketball team in the league no question. They are simply where all other teams would like to be."

The Grizzlies shot just 35 percent (29 for 81) from the floor and missed eight of 15 free throws. Chicago also outrebounded Vancouver 56-37.

The Bulls, who won five in a row to start last year's record-breaking season, have opened with three consecutive wins for just the sixth time in franchise history.

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