LOS ANGELES -- Michael Jackson had 50,000 people at Dodger Stadium shaking their bodies in rhythm Friday night while just three miles away, Michael Jordan had 12 Los Angeles Clippers shaking their heads in disbelief.
The sensational rookie scored 20 points and put the game away down the stretch when he sank a double-pump bank shot while being hammered to the floor by Derek Smith and followed with a free throw to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 104-100 victory over the Clippers.
The victory snapped Chicago's three-game losing streak.
The Clippers led throughout the first three quarters, but Chicago went ahead by a point with 37 seconds left in the third period. The Bulls kept the advantage until Rory White put Los Angeles ahead 96-95 with 3:21 left on a 3-point play.
The Clippers built the margin to 98-95 but Caldwell Jones tipped in Jordan's miss to make it 98-97. Norm Nixon hit a jumper to make it 100-97 but the Clippers did not score again.
Jordan hit a free throw and then tied it 100-100 with an 18-footer with 87 seconds left. He then connected on the play of the game, the underhand shot that kissed the backboard and fell through the net as he tumbled onto the court.
'We wanted to be close near the end, to be in position to win it,' said Orlando Woolridge, who led the Bulls' scoring attack with 23 points. 'Tonight it took that incredible play from Michael, but we're getting used to that.'
Jordan shrugged off the brilliant shot.
'It was all luck. I admit it,' he said. 'I got got fouled and I just threw it up there and it went in. Sometimes they do.'
For Jordan, usually they do.
The Clippers were led by Smith's 33 points against Jordan's tentative defense, including 18 in the first quarter. Nixon added 17 and Bill Walton had 11.
Smith, who did a solid job guarding Jordan in addition to outscoring him, said he wanted to accomplish two things against the Bulls.
'I wanted to hold him down as best I could and help us win the game,' he said. 'I did a good job on him, but we still lost.
'Michael is everything they say he is. I enjoyed watching him myself.'