Jordan, Barkley make their points in Game 2 NBA Finals notebook

June 13, 1993|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Pro basketball historians had to dig back 24 years to discover a shootout of superstars in an NBA championship series that matched the fireworks in Phoenix Friday night when the Bulls' Michael Jordan and the Suns' Charles Barkley each scored 42 points in Chicago's 111-108 victory.

The last such duel occurred April 25, 1969, in Los Angeles when the Boston Celtics' John Havlicek scored 43 and Jerry West had 41 for the winning Lakers.

But Friday's game had a far larger audience, and Jordan and Barkley, the game's two most visible players, lived up to their hype.

"We played as hard as we could, we can't do any more," said Barkley after his 46-minute effort in which he also grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out four assists.

Horace Grant, who had held Barkley to 21 points in the opener Wednesday night, was simply overwhelmed in Game 2 by Barkley's power and determination.

"It was a nightmare out there. We knew he'd come out with a vengeance, and I couldn't stop him," admitted Grant, who scored 24 points himself, a personal playoff best.

But the task of trying to carry the Suns on his back finally took its toll on Barkley in the last quarter.

"He was dying, but he kept summoning the strength from somewhere," said Suns coach Paul Westphal.

That's when Jordan took over, scoring 12 points in the last seven minutes to hold off the desperate Suns.

"It was a chance to assert myself," Jordan said.

And there was little the Suns could do to stop him.

"We played so hard and so well, but every time we got in a position to go ahead, Michael takes the ball and closes us out," said Suns assistant Scotty Robertson.

Unhappy camper

Suns rookie Richard Dumas, who was impressive in the opener when he scored 20 points, was clearly annoyed when veteran Tom Chambers got more playing time in Game 2.

"I guess it wasn't meant for me to play," said Dumas, limited to two minutes of action in the second half. "I have no idea why I

didn't play more. Ask the coach, I'm sure he's got a good reason."

Replied Westphal: "Danny Ainge [20 points] and [Dan] Majerle were producing, so there just wasn't room for Dumas."

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