Originally created 12/20/96

Jordan, Pippen, Kerr pace Bulls to victory



CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Michael Jordan scored 35 points and Scottie Pippen and Steve Kerr helped the Chicago Bulls turn back a Charlotte rally for a 93-72 victory over the Hornets on Thursday night.

Pippen and Kerr scored five points each in a 14-2 fourth-quarter run that sent the Bulls to their fifth consecutive victory and their 12th in 14 road games this season.

Pippen had 19 points and Kerr added seven of his 10 in the fourth quarter to augment Jordan's 14th 30-point game of the year, including his third in the last four.

Glen Rice had 23 to lead the Hornets, whose only two losses in their last seven games have come against the Bulls.

Chicago, which two nights earlier rallied from a 19-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, trailed just once against the Hornets - at 2-0.

Jordan had 22 points in the first half, when the Bulls built an 18-point lead by converting 10 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points.

The closest the Hornets got in the second half was 69-60 on a jumper by Tony Smith with 10:27 remaining.

But Pippen and Kerr combined to score the next seven points, beginning a surge that helped Chicago push its lead to 83-62 on a 16-footer by Jordan with 5:20 left.

Dennis Rodman wound up with two points and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes after some tense moments early in the game. He fouled Anthony Mason less than four minutes into the game, and the two exchanged shoves before being separated. Rodman was assessed a personal foul and both players were called for technicals, but Rodman was just getting started.

On the Bulls' next possession, Rodman and Vlade Divac got tangled up and crashed to the floor while battling for inside position. Both players were assessed personal fouls, sending Rodman to the bench with two personals and one technical with 6:36 left in the quarter.

Jordan and Mason exchanged heated words in the fourth quarter, as did Pippen and Charlotte center Matt Geiger.

Notes: Jordan, who had missed his previous five 3-point attempts over two games, was off target on his first two tries Thursday night before connecting. He finished 3-of-8 from beyond the arc. ... Mason, who was seeking his eighth consecutive double-double, wound up with six points and eight rebounds. ... It was Chicago's seventh victory in eight games against the Hornets and improved the Bulls' record in the all-time series to 30-7.