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NBA ROUNDUP

Bulls Stay Unbeaten as Suns Stay Winless

November 12, 1996|From Associated Press

Michael Jordan scored 26 points, Dennis Rodman pulled down 22 rebounds and the Chicago Bulls remained unbeaten by defeating the winless Phoenix Suns, 97-79, at Chicago on Monday.

Scottie Pippen scored 18 points for the defending champions, who at 7-0 are off to the best start in franchise history.

"It was kind of a fun night instead of one of those tense, nail-biting nights," Jordan said.

Michael Finley scored 17 points for the Suns (0-6), who are within three losses of their worst start ever. Phoenix shot 39% and committed 18 turnovers in its lowest-scoring game this season.

Not even their first halftime lead of the year helped the Suns, whose 41-39 advantage quickly evaporated. The Bulls outscored Phoenix, 17-8, to open the third quarter, with Jordan making three jumpers and dishing out three assists.

"We tend to come out and don't get pushed or motivated until we're down or the situation's not in our favor," Jordan said. "That's a dangerous way to live, but we've been able to take care of business when we've had to."

Chicago went up, 68-55, after three quarters and led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter.

"Words can't describe what I'm going through," said Sam Cassell, one of four Sun players who arrived from perennial championship contender Houston in the big off-season trade that sent Charles Barkley to the Rockets. "We've got to improve. It can't get no worse."

Added Phoenix Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons: "I think the Bulls took us very lightly. They toyed with us."

Postponement--A damaged new floor at the Delta Center was deemed unsafe and forced the postponement of the game between the Spurs and Jazz at Salt Lake City.

"There is no way the game can be played tonight," referee Jess Kersey said while workers attempted to repair the floor. "We feel it is necessary to cancel the game for the safety of the players."

Kersey announced the postponement approximately 50 minutes after the scheduled tipoff and after conferring with both coaches and the NBA. The game was rescheduled for Dec. 15.

Edges of the new hardwood floor, installed last summer at a cost of $70,000 when the Jazz changed its logo, were sticking up as high as one-eighth of an inch in more than 30 places.

Jazz officials blamed the problem on a combination of weakened plastic support rods and moisture from the ice rink under the floor.

Denver 104, Toronto 93--Dale Ellis scored 37 points and the Nuggets shot 58.2% from the floor at Toronto.

Ellis made 15 of 23 shots from the field.

Rookie Marcus Camby, making his first start as a pro, scored 10 straight Toronto points in the third quarter and finished with 26 points.

Seattle 110, Sacramento 94--Shawn Kemp had 16 of his 31 points in the first quarter and the SuperSonics never trailed after the game's opening six minutes at Sacramento.

Kemp made 13 of his 16 shots for the Sonics, who made five three-point baskets in the second half to regain control whenever the Kings seemed to be building momentum.

Gary Payton added 21 points and nine assists for Seattle, and Hersey Hawkins had 19 points.

Mitch Richmond led the Kings with 28 points. Michael Smith had 17 rebounds.

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