IS `AIR' JORDAN ON HIS WAY TO BECOMING `TRIPLE' JORDAN?
AFTER SUGGESTING A CHANGE OF ROLES WITH BULLS, NEW POINT GUARD LOGS 5TH-STRAIGHT TRIPLE-DOUBLEApparently, the only one who could figure out what might make Michael Jordan an even better basketball player was the MVP himself.
Thirteen games ago, Jordan was switched to point guard - at his own suggestion - by Chicago Coach Doug Collins. After growing in the role for eight games, he has since registered five-straight triple-doubles, giving him 10 this season and 15 in his career.He registered game highs of 28 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists Sunday, and added 2 steals and 2 blocked shots to help the Bulls to a 106-95 victory over the New Jersey Nets, who have lost 12 straight on the road.
"It's fun when you win," Jordan said. "Yeah, I can feel it. I can feel when everyone's involved. I can feel when I'm having a pretty good game and moving in on a triple-double."
Jordan's triple-doubles have not all come against league doormats. His previous ones in the streak came against Seattle, Golden State, Milwaukee and Cleveland.
Scottie Pippen added 23 points for the Bulls, including 8 in a 16-2 run midway through the third quarter that helped Chicago pull away.
New Jersey, 24-49, lost its third straight and 13th in its last 14 games.
"We just missed too many shots and had too many key turnovers," said New Jersey Coach Willis Reed, whose club has lost nine straight at Chicago Stadium.
"We played fairly decently from our side, but we're just not good enough yet. We're just a couple of players away."
Sixers 108, Rockets 99
At Philadelphia, Charles Barkley scored 26 points and Hersey Hawkins added 23 to pace the Sixers. The loss was Houston's 22nd straight at the Spectrum, dating back to 1974.
Otis Thorpe scored a career-high 37 for Houston, but Akeem Olajuwon was held to 10, 15 below his season average.
Cavaliers 117, Celtics 100
At Richfield, Ohio, Ron Harper scored 28 points and Brad Daugherty added 27 as Cleveland continued its dominance over Boston.
It was the fourth time the Cavaliers have beaten the Celtics this season and seventh time at The Coliseum since Lenny Wilkens took over as coach. Daugherty hit his first 10 shots. Kevin McHale came off the Boston bench to score 34.
Hawks 132, Pacers 109
At Indianapolis, Reggie Theus scored 27 points to lead a balanced Atlanta attack. Three other Hawks scored more than 20 points: Moses Malone with 25, Doc Rivers with 24 and Dominique Wilkins with 23. Indiana, 22-49, was led by Chuck Person with 25 points.
Bullets 120, Warriors 103
At Landover, Md., Darrell Walker collected 16 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists to help Washington extend its home winning streak to 13 games. Walker, who sat out the final 15 minutes, had 14 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists at intermission.
With the victory. Washington moved within three games of the Celtics for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
Mavericks 98, Heat 96
At Dallas, Adrian Dantley hit an 18-foot jump shot at the final buzzer and scored 25 points to pace the Mavericks. Rolando Blackman added 20 and Sam Perkins 19 for the Mavericks. Kevin Edwards led Miami with 27 points.
Pistons 117, Clippers 101
At Los Angeles, Joe Dumars scored 23 points as Detroit won its eighth straight. Bill Laimbeer had 22 points and 18 rebounds and Vinnie Johnson came off the bench to score 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for the Pistons, who have won 17 of 18. Ken Norman had 24 to lead the Clippers.
Lakers 118, Bucks 117
At Inglewood, Calif., Bryon Scott scored 32 points, including five 3-pointers, as Los Angeles outlasted Milwaukee. Magic Johnson had 24 points, A.C. Green 20 and James Worthy 19 for the Lakers. Ricky Pierce led the Bucks with 29 points, Jack Sikma added 27 and Terry Cummings 19.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had his goggles torn off his face and retaliated by shoving Larry Krystkowiak. Abdul-Jabbar was called for a technical, though no punches were thrown.