Chicago 103, Minnesota 86

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CHICAGO -- Michael Jordan scored 27 points and Scottie Pippen had 26 points, nine rebounds and eight assists Wednesday as the Chicago Bulls snapped a two-game losing skid with a 103-86 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

CHICAGO was without forward Dennis Rodman, who was suspended two games for his postgame, profanity-laden interview that was broadcast live on cable television Sunday.

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan flies to the hoop under the arm of Tom Gugliotta.
Minnesota held a 50-49 edge at halftime but the Bulls opened the second half on a 10-2 run for a 59-52 advantage.

"Well, tonight's the first time we saw this team, and we used the first half to make adjustments," Jordan said. "In the second half we came out firing on all cylinders. Scottie and I found good rhythm and we just seemed to wear them down."

The Wolves climbed within 62-58 on Stephon Marbury's jumper with 7:45 remaining in the third quarter, but the Bulls went on a 16-3 spurt to grab a 78-61 lead with 2:37 left in the quarter. Pippen hit a pair of 3-pointers and Jordan and Jason Caffey each added four points during the surge.

"With Kevin Garnett out tonight, we lose 15-25 points and 10 boards," Wolves coach Flip Saunders said of his injured forward. "Though he's not our captain, he's our leader, especially emotionally.

"Michael and Scottie came out with fire in their eyes in the second half. We didn't seem to have the energy to be able to stop them defensively."

Tom Gugliotta and Doug West scored 19 points apiece for the Wolves, who have lost six in a row.

"We broke down mentally and physically," Gugliotta said. "We just couldn't sustain ourselves in this game. We helped them out significantly in the second half. We started to stand around and watch Scottie and Michael take charge of the game. We've just been breaking down mentally too often, like tonight."

The Bulls scored six unanswered points for their biggest lead at 101-73 with 4:53 to play on Randy Brown's 18-foot jumper.

Pippen shot 10 for 15 and Jordan connected on 10 of -16 as the Bulls shot 51 percent (40 for 79) from the field. Chicago also made 18 free throws to Minnesota's eight.

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