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Bulls Lose on Late Foul Call

April 21, 1996|From Associated Press

Even in this record-setting season, the Chicago Bulls can't have all the records.

The Bulls failed to tie the NBA mark for home wins in a season, falling in Saturday's regular-season home finale when Eddie Johnson's last-second free throw gave the Indiana Pacers a 100-99 victory.

"I wanted it really bad," said Michael Jordan, who was called for fouling Johnson on a desperation 22-foot jumper with a half-second to go. "I wanted to be 40-1. I wanted to tie the record. That would have been another notch in our belt.

"And you just want to continue to win at home. You don't want to give any teams motivation coming into the playoffs that they can win on your home court."

The Bulls, the only team in NBA history to win 70 games in a season, lost two of their last four home games after winning their first 37 to set a league record. They needed a win to tie the 1985-86 Boston Celtics' mark of 40-1. The other home loss was also by one point to Charlotte.

Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman sat out the entire fourth quarter as Chicago Coach Phil Jackson tried to rest his starters for the playoffs. Jordan scored 24 points in 31 minutes.

Cleveland 75, Detroit 73--Bobby Phills stripped the ball from Grant Hill with 1.1 seconds left at Cleveland to give the Cavaliers homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"I got lucky. I got a hand in there and swiped the ball away from him," Phills said. "I didn't know how much time was on the clock. It was just instinctive to call a time out."

Phills scored 21 points and Chris Mills had 18 for Cleveland, which will be No. 4-seeded team in the Eastern Conference.

The Pistons were led by Allan Houston's 26 points.

Atlanta 121, New Jersey 99--Christian Laettner and Mookie Blaylock scored 20 points apiece for the Hawks, who outscored the Nets, 34-15, in the third quarter at Atlanta.

Blaylock made four three-pointers in the game and also had six steals, five assists and five rebounds. New Jersey was led by Jayson Williams, who scored a career-high 35 points.

Utah 104, Sacramento 92--Karl Malone scored 18 points in just 23 minutes and the Jazz tied its second-best season victory total of 55 at Salt Lake City.

The Kings, who will play Seattle in the playoffs, were led by Olden Polynice with 21 points and Mitch Richmond and Lionel Simmons with 13 each.

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