Bulls' Margin of Victory through 10 Games Sizzles on Record Pace

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Byline: Kent McDill Daily Herald Sports Writer

When you win all your games, the numbers add up.

The Bulls beat Philadelphia by 29 points, Vancouver by 23, Miami by 32, Charlotte by 23.

With their victory over Atlanta Saturday, winning by 28 points, the Bulls raised their scoring differential over opponents to almost 20 points. The Bulls are averaging 103.3 points per game and their opponents are averaging 83.5 points per game.

The best scoring differential for a season in the 50-year history of the NBA is 12.3 points per game, forged by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. That's the team that won 33 games in a row and had the best record in league history at 69-13 before last season's Bulls eclipsed the record by three games.

Last season's Bulls club had a scoring differential of 12.2, and this season's team looks poised to break the mark.

What it all means is uncertain.

"It means that at some point in the second half, mostly in the third quarter, we have found a way to disarm teams, dishearten them, and take a game over," said Bulls coach Phil Jackson. "I don't know if there is anything more beyond that. Whether you win like Detroit is, by two or four points, or winning like we are, I don't know if it makes a difference. It still comes out the same in the won-loss column."

Jackson's estimation that the third quarter makes the difference is backed by the numbers. The Bulls have "won" each of the 10 third quarters by an average of almost 10 points per game (a total of 99 points difference).

Except in specific cases where they need a blowout win, the Bulls do not start a game with the intention of crushing their opponent. It just happens that way.

"We go out to get off to a good start," said Bulls forward Scottie Pippen. …