Basketball: Rockets and Bulls close in on the finals

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The Independent Online
The Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets moved within a win of their conference finals with road victories on Sunday, but both received scares.

Michael Jordan scored 27 points and Scottie Pippen 26 as the Bulls survived a late comeback by the Atlanta Hawks for an 89-80 victory and a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semi-finals.

The Rockets had to go to overtime and needed 26 points and a three-pointer with 36 seconds left from rookie Matt Maloney to overcome the SuperSonics 110-106 and go up 3-1 in their Western semi-final.

The Bulls forward Dennis Rodman played only 11 minutes, but he took his tally of technical fouls to nine in the play-offs. "It's obvious Dennis can't play many minutes because his foul-to-minute ratio will be one-to-one, and the rest of us have to take up that slack," the Bulls forward Brian Williams said.