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Today in Sports History: 3/28 – Michael Jordan Scores 69 Points

Today in sports history (1990), Michael Jordan scored 69 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jordan, who is one of, if not the greatest basketball player of all time was known for his competitive edge. After the 1997 NBA Finals, Jordan gave the background on his career-high.

Early in the first quarter, Jordan got fouled hard by Cavaliers’ Hot Rod Williams. This caused the home Cleveland fans to start cheering at Jordan’s injury. This, I guess, was another example of Jordan taking something personally. Michael Jordan proceeded to score 69 points to stick it to Cavs’ fans.

“I think the game I had against Cleveland, when I had 69, that was strictly off of anger and disappointment,” Jordan said. “Earlier in the first quarter, when I think I got a hard foul from Hot Rod and I—you know, I fell the wrong way, and I was really in pain. And the whole crowd cheered! That right there pissed me off, because they was more in tune to winning than someone’s health. And that kind of got me fired up. That’s when I went crazy.”

Michael Jordan today in sports history
Credit: Sky Sports

Michael Jordan Scores 69 Points Against Cavaliers

What is truly amazing about Jordan’s performance against Cleveland was that he shot 62.2% from the field. This means that Jordan wasn’t taking a crazy amount of shots or forcing the ball, he was scoring efficiently. He shot 23/37 overall, going 2/6 from the three-point line. Jordan also went 21/23 from the free throw line. Not only did Jordan incredibly score the ball, but the hall of famer also totaled 18 rebounds, six assists and four steals.

The Bulls only had one other player score in double figures in this game — Horace Grant. Scottie Pippen had one of the worst games in his career, scoring seven points on 3/10 shooting. He also led the team with eight turnovers.

All in all, Jordan’s 69 points willed the Chicago Bulls to a 117-113 win in overtime against Cleveland. Jordan’s 69 points rank him 12th all-time in most points scored in a game.

  1. Wilt Chamberlain – 100
  2. Kobe Bryant – 81
  3. Wilt Chamberlain – 78
  4. Wilt Chamberlain – 73
  5. Wilt Chamberlain – 73
  6. David Thompson – 73
  7. Wilt Chamberlain – 72
  8. Elgin Baylor – 71
  9. David Robinson – 71
  10. Wilt Chamberlain – 70
  11. Devin Booker – 70
  12. Michael Jordan – 69

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