Michael's miracle saves Chicago


Bulls buzz: MJ's legend grows

Frozen moment: Kukoc keeps hope alive

Jazz buzz: This one hurt the most

X-factor: Jordan keeps Bulls in line for title

Game 5 shot charts

Pregame notebook


Michael Jordan buries the crucial 3-pointer.
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Jordan steals the ball and finishes with a follow jam.
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Scottie Pippen was amazed by Michael Jordan's effort.
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Pippen ranks the win among the Bulls' greatest.
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Jerry Sloan says Utah used up its emotion early in the game.
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The loss took an emotional toll on Karl Malone.
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But don't worry; Malone won't do anything drastic.
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Phil Jackson was amazed Jordan played at all.
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Bryon Russell isn't convinced Jordan was sick.
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Luc Longley wants Pippen to get some of the credit.
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Dr. Jack Ramsay says MJ added to his legend.
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Steve Kerr's defense was a key, Ramsay says.
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Box score | Game recap | Game flow

SALT LAKE CITY -- Michael Jordan overcame the stomach flu to score 38 points Wednesday, including the tie-breaking 3-pointer with 25 seconds left, as the Chicago Bulls moved within one win of the championship with a 90-88 victory over the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Sick to his stomach since Tuesday night, Jordan was terrible for stretches and brilliant in others. He saved his best for the fourth quarter, when he scored 15 points and carried the Bulls to the brink of their fifth title in seven years.

"We wanted it real bad," said Jordan, who shot 13 for 27 from the field in 44 minutes. "I was really tired and very weak. At halftime I told Phil (Jackson) to use me in spurts."

Jordan made a free throw to tie the score 85-85 with 46 seconds left. His second shot was short, but Toni Kukoc batted the ball back to Jordan, who brought it back outside the key.

After Chicago passed the ball around, Jordan was able to feed it to Scottie Pippen in the post. Bryon Russell left Jordan to double Pippen, who kicked the ball back to Jordan for a 3-pointer over the onrushing John Stockton.

"I almost played myself into passing out," Jordan said. "I came in and I was almost dehydrated, and it was all just to win a basketball game.

Fourth-quarter flip-flop: Utah made the big plays in the final period of Game 4, but Chicago was hot in clutch time of Game 5. Michael Jordan was 6 for 10 from the field in the fourth quarter Wednesday; Utah was four for 17.

Missing the mark: Utah, the NBA's best shooting team in the regular season, shot just 41 percent in Game 5. Jeff Hornacek was 2 for 11 overall; Karl Malone was 1 for 6 in the second half.

"I couldn't breathe. My energy level was really low. My mouth was really dry. They started giving me Gatoradeand I thought about (an) IV."

The Jazz got a dunk from Greg Ostertag with 15 seconds to go. Utah then tried to trap the Bulls, who found Luc Longley underneath for a dunk and a 90-87 lead with 6.2 seconds left.

The Jazz called timeout and set up a play, but Jeff Hornacek missed a 3-pointer. Stockton was fouled with two-tenths of a second left and split a pair of meaningless free throws.

Pippen added 17 points for the Bulls, who erased deficits of 16 points in the second quarter and eight in the final period and stunned the sellout crowd at the Delta Center, which had not seen a loss since Feb. 23.

The Jazz had won 23 consecutive home games, including their first 10 playoff contests. It was their first home loss to an Eastern Conference team since Nov. 24, 1995, when they lost to Chicago.

Game 6 is Friday at Chicago, where the Bulls won the first two games of the series. Since the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format in 1985, no team has won the last two games on the road.

Michael Jordan slams home a Scottie Pippen miss in transition (826k avi).

Utah's Karl Malone scored 19 points, but had just one basket in the second half. Stockton and Ostertag added 13 points apiece and Ostertag grabbed 15 rebounds for Utah, which was four for 17 from the field in the fourth quarter.

"I'm heartbroken," Malone said. "I take every loss hard, and obviously this was a big loss. I didn't play well."

After blowing a 16-point lead in the second quarter, the Jazz regained control in the third period. Utah wasn't called for a team foul for nearly 11 minutes and Jordan scored just one basket, a swooping left-handed layup that tied the score at 63-63 with 4:49 to go.

Ostertag scored and Hornacek made a technical foul shot after Brian Williams shoved Malone. Williams responded with a dunk, but Russell made a 3-pointer and Malone sank three free throws, extending the lead to 72-65 with 2:05 remaining in the quarter.

A 3-pointer by Chris Morris gave Utah a 77-69 lead early in the fourth quarter. Jordan made a jumper, Kukoc and Jordan hit 3-pointers and Jordan sank another jumper as Chicago grabbed a 79-77 lead with 8:25 remaining.

Russell made a 3-pointer and Stockton tussled with Steve Kerr, with both players receiving technical fouls. A pair of free throws by Pippen tied it 81-81 with 5:57 remaining.

shot chart
Luc Longley was 6 for 7 and gave Chicago a much-needed third scoring option. Click here for complete shot charts of Game 5.

Stockton made a long 3-pointer, but Jordan answered with a driving layup with 2:44 left. Malone made a free throw after Dennis Rodman fouled out with 2:25 to go.

Ostertag had a big blocked shot against Longley, but Stockton and Malone missed shots that could have extended the lead.

"We had opportunities," Stockton said. "We had a nice lead and we even had a nice little run there early in the fourth that we felt we could build on and didn't take advantage of it. This is a championship (series), and close doesn't count."

Longley scored 12 points for Chicago, which avoided its first three-game losing streak with Jordan since November 1990.

Russell and Morris added 11 apiece for the Jazz.

The Bulls, who went to the line just 12 times in Game 4, opened by going hard to the basket and had eight attempts in the first quarter. Pippen drew two fouls each on Hornacek and his replacement, Shandon Anderson. But Chicago shot just 33 percent (five for 15) from the field and quickly fell behind.

Jordan scored Chicago's first two baskets, but clearly was not himself. A bank shot did not draw rim and he committed a pair of turnovers and a reach-in foul.

After a free throw by Williams closed the deficit to 9-8, the Jazz went on a 12-1 run, taking a 21-9 lead with 2:26 left in the quarter.

Bryon Russell closes the first half with an electrifying jam.

Two baskets by Malone around a pair of free throws by Greg Foster gave Utah a 29-16 lead after one period. Malone had nine points as the Jazz shot 58 percent (11 for 19).

"We had to stay patient and try get a little back at a time and not play with a sense of urgency to get back in the game," Pippen said of Chicago's early deficit.

A combined three-point play by Malone and Stockton and two baskets by Antoine Carr gave Utah its largest lead at 36-20 with 10:30 to play in the second quarter. But the Bulls came roaring back behind Jordan and their defense.

Jordan scored 17 points in the second quarter as Chicago cut Utah's lead to four points, 53-49, by halftime.

"That's one of the scariest things you can have in basketball, especially in a game like this," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said. "When you come out and try to blow a team away -- which is what it looked like we were trying to do -- are you going to have enough energy to finish?"

After attempting no free throws in Game 4, Jordan was nine for 10 from the line in the second period alone.

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