The NBA’s most dominant duo wasn’t in a congratulatory mood after Dominique Wilkins set an NBA record with 62 points on March 1, 1992. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were in the locker room before the game when they heard that Wilkins had broken Wilt Chamberlain’s record of scoring 100 points in a single game.
In 1992, Dominique Wilkins set a new record for points scored by an NBA player in a single game. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were not in a congratulatory mood after the game.
On Dec. 8, 1992, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were not in a celebratory mood. The Atlanta Hawks’ Dominique Wilkins just established an NBA record at home against the Chicago Bulls. Jordan and Pippen were not pleased with the Hawks’ 123-114 win. Their dissatisfaction stemmed from more than just the defeat.
Dominique Wilkins, who established a new mark, dethroned Michael Jordan.
During a game against the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls talks with an official. | Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
It was early in the 1992-93 NBA season, and the Bulls were 11-4 when they traveled to Atlanta to play the Hawks, who were 8-8. Chicago had just won its second consecutive championship and was off to a strong start in its quest for a third straight crown.
Wilkins and the Hawks proved to be a stumbling block for the Bulls, as the Hawks forward scored 42 points to lead all scorers. He also had five steals and five assists. Kevin Willis contributed 31 points to the Hawks’ victory.
Wilkins struggled from the field, making just nine of 22 attempts and going 1-for-4 from three-point range. Wilkins was particularly impressive at the free-throw line. He made all 23 of his shots, which is an NBA record. His record lasted until James Harden shot 24-for-24 from the free throw line in 2019.
Jordan scored 32 points on 14 of 28 attempts from the field. He hit both of his free shots. Pippen scored 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting. He didn’t even try for a free throw.
While Wilkins was the center of attention in Atlanta’s locker room, the Chicago players were upset with the game’s three referees. The referees were Danny Crawford, Jimmy Clark, and Jim Capers, and all three were singled out by Jordan, Pippen, and other Bulls players.
According to United Press International, an enraged Jordan stated after the game, “We had three horrible refs, and you really couldn’t tell who was the main official.” “They were all filthy. I’m sure I’ll be punished for it, but wait till they see the movie. If they don’t admit it, I’ll say it for them.”
Pippen was enraged as well.
He said, “We weren’t getting any fouls.” “You can bet it was our foul whenever the whistle sounded. We didn’t get any phone calls. You can’t allow a man to stand in line 23 times. I thought the officiating was terrible.”
Jordan was fined $5,000 for his remarks a few days later, according to NBA vice president Rod Thorn. Pippen was fined $3,000 for his actions.
Horace Grant managed to avoid being punished in some way.
On Tuesday night, James Harden shot 24 for 24 from the free throw line, surpassing Dominique Wilkins’ single-game record of 23 free throws made without missing. pic.twitter.com/t7MsX7Qv0i
December 4, 2019 — NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats)
In the game, there was a significant disparity in the number of fouls called. Six of his team’s 28 fouls were collected by Pippen, who fouled out. Jordan ended up with five.
Throughout the game, the Hawks were whistled for 15 fouls, with Wilkins receiving one.
In his 26 minutes on the court, Horace Grant racked up four fouls. He, too, expressed his dissatisfaction with the officiating crew, but managed to avoid a fine. When Grant made his postgame remark, he claimed he was anticipating one.
“It was a five-on-eight match,” Grant remarked. “I’m willing to pay a fee since it was that bad out there.”
Despite the defeat, the Bulls were victorious in the end. On their way to a 57-win season, they won 11 of their following 13 games. In six games, they beat the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.
Basketball Reference provided all stats.
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