All-Star duel: Jordan outscores Richmond


SmallticketJordan says he'll play next season


Michael Jordan picks off the pass and takes it all the way.
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Following his miss, Scottie Pippen pins Mitch Richmond to the court.
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Jordan abuses Richmond again, stealing it and scoring it.
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Box score | Game recap | Game flow

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Michael Jordan scored nine of his 32 points during a game-ending surge as the Chicago Bulls won their fifth straight game, 111-93 over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

Scottie Pippen added 22 points and Toni Kukoc contributed 16 for Chicago, which improved to a league best 18-4 on the road. The Bulls are 39-5, two games off last season's record-setting pace.

Luc Longley grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who are 6-1 since forward Dennis Rodman was given an 11-game suspension for kicking a television cameraman on Jan. 15 in Minnesota.

Mitch Richmond scored 28 points, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf added 19 and Corliss Williamson contributed 14 for Sacramento, which fell to 12-11 at home.

"We just couldn't get things finished in the last four or five minutes," Richmond said.

"I'm very pleased with our effort, and I told the guys before the game this game was going to be a learning experience whether we came up with the win or a loss," Kings coach Gary St. Jean said.

Jordan, who was able to score at will against Richmond, held Sacramento's leading scorer to five points in the fourth quarter. Richmond was two for nine from the field over the last 12 minutes.

"I have to give Mitch a hand," Jordan said. "Right now, he's playing extremely well. I think he got a little worn down in the second half, but I had the advantage over him because I have Scottie Pippen on my team and some other guys."

"I thought Michael tired Richmond in the third quarter and was able to get away with a couple of steals and some open court situations that helped us out," Bulls coach Phil Jackson said. "Being able to control the boards in the second half helped contribute to our success tonight."

After the Kings closed within 89-83 on a three-pointer by Rauf with 6:15 left in the fourth quarter, Longley hit a 16-footer to ignite a 13-4 run. Jordan scored nine points during the stretch, including a layup, three free throws, a dunk and a 14-footer to give the Bulls a 102-87 advantage with 3:19 to go.

The Bulls scored 22 of the game's last 32 points.

The Bulls carried a 24-20 lead into the second quarter behind eight points by Pippen before the Kings grabbed a 49-48 edge at the half. Chicago overtook Sacramento 75-69 after three quarters despite 12 points from Richmond in the period.

"That was a great first half," Jackson said. "I thought both teams played their hearts out in the first half, we had a little more rhythm in the second half. We got the fastbreak points in the second half."

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