Chapter 21: 86-87 Jordan’s assault on the record books (part 2)
His highest scoring effort that season came on March 4th in Detroit against their rival the Pistons. Jordan scored 61 points that night. It is somewhat surprising since Jordan was defended by Joe Dumars, who Jordan considers to be one of the toughest defenders Michael’s ever faced. You almost can’t help but be entranced while watching him play. One of the announcers sounded like a school boy with his oohs and aahs while watching his favorite idol take flight.
Here are the Jordan highlights from that game.
During the record breaking 86-87 season, Jordan averaged 37.1 points per game on 48.2% shooting, and won his first scoring title. He scored 3041 points, becoming only the second player to reach that mark since Wilt Chamberlain. He scored 40 points or more in 9 straight games. He set a league record of 23 points in a row on April 16th. And he also became the first player to ever get over 200 steals and 100 blocks in a single season.
Even with those extraordinary accomplishments, Jordan could not lead the Bulls to playoff victory. The 40-42 Bulls were again swept by the Boston Celtics in the playoffs. Jordan averaged 35.7 points during that series.
After such a record breaking season, Jordan no longer had any doubters of his basketball abilities. However, people still questioned his defensive abilities and his ability to help the Bulls win games. Jordan now had something else to prove, and he would rise up to that challenge in true Jordan fashion.