Jordan takes Chicago Bulls to the brink

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The Independent Online
Michael Jordan scored 36 points as the Chicago Bulls demolished the Seattle SuperSonics 108-86 on their home turf to move within one victory of a sweep of the NBA Finals and the best season in league history.

"That was a spectacular game for our team," Phil Jackson, the Chicago coach, said afterwards. "Obviously Michael carried us the first half and we got a great contribution from everybody in the second half."

Jordan scored 12 first-quarter points, four fewer than all the Sonics, and 27 in the first half, 11 fewer than the entire Seattle team. He shot 11-for-23 from the field, 3-of-4 from long range, and was 11-for-11 from the foul line.

The Australian Luc Longley added 19 points, a career playoff high, as the Bulls went 3-0 up in the best-of-seven finals. No team has ever recovered from a 3-0 deficit to win the NBA championship. Now the Sonics must win at home tomorrow just to stay alive.

Detlef Schrempf scored 20 points and Gary Payton 19 for the Sonics, who never led. The Bulls used double-teaming to hold Seattle's Shawn Kemp, who scored 61 points in the first two games, to just 14 points on seven shots from the field and six free throws. The Sonics turned the ball over 20 times, 13 times in the first half, to just nine total for Chicago.