Bulls improve to 10-0 by routing Hawks


Luc Longley finds Scottie Pippen for the no-look layup.
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CHICAGO -- Michael Jordan scored 25 points Saturday night as the unbeaten Chicago Bulls routed routed the Atlanta Hawks 97-69.

CHICAGO (10-0) is five victories away from matching the league's best start, shared by the 1993 Houston Rockets and the 1948 Washington Capitols. The Bulls have won their first 10 games by an average of 19.8 points.

Luc Longley
Luc Longley slams one home.
"It's going to get tougher for us," Jordan said. "We just have to maintain our focus and not think that we're better than everyone else. We need to continue to work hard, specifically with seven games starting on the road."

Steve Kerr added 12 points and Dennis Rodman had 11 points and 15 rebounds for Chicago, which has won its last three games by at least 23 points and has five victories by 20 points or more.

Christian Laettner scored 17 points and Eldridge Recasner added 15 for Atlanta, which was held to a season-low point total and has lost three in a row on the road. Starting guards Steve Smith and Mookie Blaylock did not play because to sprained right ankles.

"Considering how many players we had tonight, I thought we gave it a good effort," said Hawks coach Lenny Wilkens. "To be honest, some of my bench guys didn't really know the offense that well. But without Mookie and Smith, we're going to lose a lot of games."

CHICAGO shot 51 percent (41 for 81) from the field and seven for 17 from 3-point range. The Bulls scored 20 points off 13 Atlanta turnovers.

Dikembe Mutombo finished with nine points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta, which shot 33 percent (26 for 80) from the floor. Jon Barry was the only Hawks starter to make 50 percent of his field goals, going three for six from the field.

"Chicago is the best team in the NBA. Everyone knows that," Mutombo said. "Without Mookie making the plays for us, we were in trouble."

The Bulls' reserves scored 39 points compared to just 17 for Atlanta's bench.

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