Michael Jordan isn't flinching on the court, either.
Jordan, who co-authored a magazine article this week in which he defiantly stated he won't back off his threat to retire, had 17 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five steals Wednesday night to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 85-70 victory over the Orlando Magic."The question is, who's going to take a step back. Who's going to flinch?" Jordan wrote in ESPN magazine. "Not me."
Nor is his team.
The Bulls won their seventh in a row and maintained a half-game lead over Seattle for the best record in the league with an 85-70 road victory over the Orlando Magic.
Scottie Pippen scored 23 points, Jordan had 17 and Dennis Rodman grabbed 18 rebounds as the Bulls won the opener of a three-game road trip.
The loss was the second in as many nights for Orlando, which is battling Washington and New Jersey for the eighth playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
SUPERSONICS 133, WIZARDS 109: Seattle had its highest point total of the season against Washington, playing its second road game in as many nights.
Seattle scored a season-high 74 points in the first half on 30-of-44 shooting and led by 19 at halftime. Aaron Williams' dunk gave the Sonics their biggest lead, 114-77 in the first minute of the fourth period.
LAKERS 114, KINGS 91: Shaquille O'Neal had 25 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Lakers to their second win over Sacramento in four days.
The host Lakers won their fifth straight and 11th in 12 games to put themselves in a position to think about surpassing Utah, Seattle and Chicago in the race for the NBA's best regular-season record.
"We've got two days to prepare for Utah, which is great," Robert Horry said. "It's going to be a war with them. They'll be playing at home and they've been playing well, extremely well."
ROCKETS 86, PACERS 81: At Indianapolis, Hakeem Olajuwon scored 16 points, including seven of Houston's last 10, as the Rockets survived a late Indiana rally despite playing without injured stars Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler.
KNICKS 77, CLIPPERS 76: Allan Houston sank two free throws with 8.1 seconds remaining to cap a 22-point effort as New York came from 10 points down in the final five minutes at Los Angeles.
NETS 91, 76ERS 86: At Philadelphia, Keith Van Horn had 31 points, Kerry Kittles added 28 and New Jersey forced 25 turnovers.
PISTONS 103, SPURS 94: Grant Hill had 24 points and 10 assists and Jerry Stackhouse had 22 points for Detroit, which won its fourth straight and became the first team in 21 games to score 100 points against visiting San Antonio.
MAVERICKS 105, NUGGETS 94: At Denver, even a pregame pep talk from new general manager Dan Issel couldn't coax a ninth win out of the Nuggets. Just a few hours after signing Issel as the new general manager, Denver lost for a franchise-record 63rd time.
TIMBERWOLVES 99, SUNS 97: At Phoenix, Anthony Peeler had 20 points, eight rebounds and three steals, Stephon Marbury had 19 points and 10 assists and Kevin Garnett scored 15 points as Minnesota won the season series 3-1.
HEAT 105, CELTICS 91: Alonzo Mourning scored 26 points and Mark Strickland had 23 points and 13 rebounds in place of the injured P.J. Brown as Miami improved its NBA-best road record to 24-12.