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Jordan Does His Magic And Makes The Bullets' Hopes Disappear
21 February 1997. Chicago Bulls 103, Washington Bullets 99 (record: 24-29)
Game leaders: Howard (25 points), Howard (10 rebounds), Strickland (9 assists)
I knew something was wrong when we approached USAir Arena and their were metal detectors inside the entrance. Did someone make a death threat on Jordan? I didn't know the answer to that question until halftime.
It turns out that the President of the United States, Bill Clinton, was attending the game. And not just a half--the entire game. It's a good thing, because he saw a great show in the fourth quarter.
Painting A Masterpiece It was one of the best efforts of the Bullets on the season, in front of the President and a nationwide TV audience. In the end, the star was Michael-angelo, says Washington Post sports columnist Michael Wilbon.
The Bullets were down 14 points in the fourth quarter, but clawed back in and made it a game in the end. The only thing that saved the Bulls was 18 points from Michael Jordan, including 14 straight Bulls points in a key stretch in the middle of the quarter. He did it all--pull-up jumpers, cross-over drives, dunks, hesitation moves. You just had to be in awe of the performance and shake your head. Because despite Jordan's show, Calbert Cheaney and Jaren Jackson played him about as strong defensively as one can.
With that said, the officiating in this game was horrid. I could count 6 bad calls from #54 alone, and there were others. The bad calls in favor of the Bullets never came close to balancing the bad calls in favor of the Bulls. Strickland repeated penetrated and drew contact, but rarely got a whistle. Meanwhile, Jordan dunks uncontested, but hangs on the rim and runs into a closing Muresan and gets the whistle. Officiating, especially when it regards one Mr. Jordan, is a joke.
wtf 24 February 1997
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