Rodman rules as Bulls blitz Bucks

  Box score | Game recap | Game flow

MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Rodman recorded season-highs with 16 points and 26 rebounds Friday as the Chicago Bulls took their fifth consecutive victory, 116-101 over the Milwaukee Bucks in a Central Division clash.

The Bulls held a slight 86-83 lead after three quarters, but the outscored the Bucks 30-18 in the final period.

"The Bulls are world champions for a reason," Bucks coach Chris Ford said. "We played some great basketball for three quarters. But the Bulls are the Bulls. They really stepped it up a notch in the final quarter."

Michael Jordan scored 33 points, Toni Kukoc added 20 and Scottie Pippen had 19 for the Bulls, who maintained a 4½-game lead over the Detroit Pistons atop the Central.

"Tonight was my night," said Rodman, who grabbed 10 offensive rebounds. "The one thing about our team is that we never panic. In the first half we got the cobwebs out; in the second half we kicked (butt). Everyone had good vibes and we moved well in the second half."

"The guy is the best rebounder in basketball. He should get rewarded for his talent," Jordan said of Rodman. "Our team has the best record two years in a row and only two of our players are in the All-Star Game? That would be an embarrassment for the league."

"They'll never put me in the All-Star Game and I don't care," said the outlandish, volatile Rodman, a two-time All-Star when he played for Detroit. "I'm an All-Star to the people in Chicago."

Glenn Robinson scored 35 points on 16-for-21 shooting and Vin Baker added 26 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks, who suffered their worst loss of the season. Rookie Ray Allen scored 22 points, one short of his career-high.

"Glenn Robinson is playing great basketball," Ford said. "He should be highly considered for the All-Star team."

Armon Gilliam, who had eight points off the bench, made a pair of free throws to give the Bucks an 83-80 lead with 1:21 left in the third period.

Jordan scored five points and Kukoc added four as the Bulls used a 15-2 spurt to take the lead for good. Jordan's jumper capped it, giving the Bulls a 95-85 lead with 9:28 left in the fourth period.

"In the first half, their game was better than ours," Jordan said. "We made our opportunities in the second half and took over. Milwaukee has a great group of guys here. They need to get some more experience and then they'll be right up there."

"They got a lot of second opportunities at the offensive end," Robinson said. "We can't give them those types of opportunities. We've got to do whatever it takes to defeat Golden State on Sunday."

Milwaukee maintained its lead throughout the second quarter. But Kukoc capped a fast break and 15-6 burst with a dunk as Chicago cut the deficit to 48-47 with 3:43 left in the second. Robinson had 20 points and Baker added 19 as the Bucks held a 61-57 advantage at the intermission.

Copyright 1996-1997 Starwave Corporation and ESPN Inc. All rights reserved. Duplicated and redistributed without permission.