Chicago 114, L.A. Clippers 96


Michael Jordan hangs in the air for a couple hours before deciding to shoot.
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Dennis Rodman sends a bounce pass to Jordan for the bucket.
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Box score | Game recap | Game flow

CHICAGO -- Jason Caffey scored 13 of his career-high 23 points during a 21-4 fourth quarter run as the Chicago Bulls got past the Los Angeles Clippers 114-96 on Thursday night.

Scottie Pippen scored 25 points and Michael Jordan added 20 for the Bulls, who have won five in a row and have the best record in the league at 17-1. Chicago led by 10 points after one period and enjoyed a slim 62-57 lead at halftime.

Caffey topped his previous high of 13 points by shooting 11 for 13 from the field in 24 minutes off the bench.

"I think everybody has been waiting for him to show his talent on the basketball court," Jordan said of Caffey, a first-round pick last season. "He has the ability to play with that type of intensity."

Pooh Richardson scored 20 points, Loy Vaught had 19 and Brent Barry contributed 17 for Los Angeles, which led early in the third quarter but could not keep the Bulls down.

"My biggest disappointment is that we didn't play harder than we did those last 10 minutes," Los Angeles coach Bill Fitch said. "We accomplished a lot the first three quarters, playing their starters even. Then their bench took the game away."

Vaught scored back-to-back baskets to trim Chicago's lead to 88-86 with 7:45 remaining before Chicago scored 21 of the next 25 points to seal the victory.

Toni Kukoc's 20-foot jumper at 7:27 and Randy Brown's layup with 1:57 remaining sandwiched the 21-4 spurt in which Caffey took over.

"It seemed like Caffey just got in a zone there at the end," Vaught said. "We had a very difficult time trying to control him. It shows you how much talent they have there on that team."

Kukoc finished with 18 points and a season-high 12 assists as the Bulls shot 54 percent (52 for 95) from the field, compared to 45 percent (38 for 83) by the Clippers.

Both Jordan and Pippen sat out the entire final quarter while Caffey, Brown and Steve Kerr ran the offense. The trio shot a combined 24 for 29 as Chicago's bench outscored Los Angeles' 51-25.

"That was a great surge that we had there off the bench," Bulls coach Phil Jackson said. "They gave us a terrific lift, especially Kerr, Brown and Caffey. We were floundering and they gave us momentum.

"The second team played so well that I was able to sit Pippen and Jordan for the entire fourth quarter."

"It was a good game for the second team," Jordan said. "They came out and outplayed the first team. Nobody could have predicted that Scottie and I would sit out the fourth quarter, but our first team didn't play very good defense the whole night."

CHICAGO played without starting guard Ron Harper, who was sidelined with a combination of the flu and a dislocated finger.

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