RICHFIELD, Ohio -- Forward Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls shrugged his shoulders after the Cleveland Cavaliers held him scoreless during the second half of a 99-85 victory in the NBA Eastern Conference finals yesterday.
Pippen had scored 13 points during the first half before the Cavaliers evened the best-of-seven series, 2-2, before 20,273 at the Richfield Coliseum.
He had four points during the first quarter and nine during the second, making five of eight shots, including a three-pointer, and two of three free throws. But he took only three shots during the second half.
Pippen, who had averaged 21 points and 15.2 shots during this season's playoffs, said that he didn't get many shots during the second half because coach Phil Jackson wanted to get the ball to Michael Jordan, who scored a game-high 35 -- but needed 33 shots to do it.
Asked if Cavaliers forwards Mike Sanders and John "Hot Rod" Williams altered their defense to stop him during the second half, Pippen said: "They didn't do anything. I just didn't get any opportunities. I guess there were other guys out on the court that were more important. How many shots did I shoot the second half? . . . I never got the ball. The pressure was on, and it unfolded like that.
"Phil [Jackson] just didn't allow me to push the ball the way I did in the last game [when he had 23 points]. Why? You'd have to get that from him."
Said Jackson: "I don't know why Scottie shot so few shots. You have to ask him."
With Cavaliers guard Mark Price limited to 30 minutes after being hospitalized Sunday night because of a stomach virus, guard Craig Ehlo scored 21.
Cavaliers reserve center Danny Ferry was ejected for throwing two punches at Jordan with 10:05 to play in the second quarter.
Ferry, angered while trying to fight through a double screen, threw a left hook and a right hook at Jordan, who cocked his arm but didn't throw a punch.
"It took all the strength I had not to throw a punch back at him," Jordan said. "It wasn't a great situation in terms of me getting thrown out and him getting thrown out. I felt I meant a little bit more to my team than he did to his."