Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rattled Bulls Edge Hawks 100-97

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Rattled Bulls Edge Hawks 100-97

Article excerpt

The Chicago Bulls lost their cool. They lost Dennis Rodman, too. They didn't lose the game, however, thanks to Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan.

Pippen capped a 29-point game by making a go-ahead 3-pointer with 43.9 seconds left and Jordan scored 34 points Tuesday night as Chicago opened the Eastern Conference semifinals with a 100-97 victory at home over the Atlanta Hawks.

The defending NBA champions rallied from a 16-point, third-quarter deficit despite Rodman's ejection for two technical fouls. Toni Kukoc also was assessed a "T," and the Bulls spent a good chunk of the game either complaining to the officials or trying to calm each other down. But not all the Bulls lost their composure. Pippen hit his sixth 3-pointer of the game after taking a handoff from Luc Longley and curling around a Longley pick. The basket snapped a 97-97 tie and finished the scoring. The Hawks couldn't take advantage of Longley's two missed free throws with 34.5 seconds left and Jordan's missed layup with 10 seconds to go, as Mookie Blaylock spoiled an otherwise outstanding individual performance. Blaylock, who had career playoff highs with 31 points and 12 rebounds, badly missed a 3-pointer with about 35 seconds left, stepped out of bounds after taking an inbounds pass with 32 seconds to go and shot an airball on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Chicago will play host for Thursday's Game 2 before the best-of-seven series shifts to Atlanta. (The following text appeared in the Five Star edition only:) The Hawks were supposed to be tired following their grueling, five-game opening series against the Detroit Pistons. Instead, Chicago looked sluggish despite - or maybe because of - having five days off after sweeping Washington. Atlanta took a 55-39 lead with 10:23 left in the third quarter before getting outscored 38-15 the rest of the period. …

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