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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nuggets Stop Bulls' Win Streak at 18

COMBINED REPORTS


DENVER -- Not even Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls could escape from this one.


But the NBA's mightiest team -- down by 31 points in the second quarter -- came tantalizingly close.


Not close enough, however, to prevent a 105-99 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night that ended the Bulls' 18-game winning streak.


Playing two nights after winning their showdown with Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bulls surged from a 25-point deficit at the half to pull ahead in the fourth quarter.


Leading the way for the Bulls in the third quarter was Jordan, who had 22 points in the period and 39 for the game. But it was not enough to prevent Chicago, off to the best start in NBA history, from dropping to 41-4.


The loss ended the Bulls' franchise-record winning streak and was their first defeat since a 103-97 defeat at Indiana on Dec. 26. It also snapped the Bulls' team-record nine-game road winning streak as Chicago lost to a sub-.500 team for the first time this year.


The Nuggets led 66-35 with 3:05 left in the second quarter and by 25 at halftime, but Jordan hit 8 of 10 shots in the third period as the Bulls pulled ahead 87-84 with 10:47 remaining.


Scottie Pippen completed a 23-2 run and gave the Bulls their first lead, 85-84, since 2-0 when he scored on an open-court spin move and then hit a free throw to complete a three-point play with 11:27 left in the game.


James Edwards put Chicago up by three before the Nuggets countered with a 15-5 run to lead 99-92 with 4:33 left.


Jordan hit his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 2:30 left and his two free throws 41 second later drew Chicago to 101-99. But the Nuggets scored the final four points of the game to win.


Bulls 99, Lakers 84. Friday night's game had been hyped as Magic versus Michael, but Pippen stole the show.


Pippen scored 30 points and Dennis Rodman grabbed a season-high 23 rebounds as Chicago routed the Lakers.


The matchup between Johnson and Jordan -- facing each other for the first time since the 1991 NBA Finals -- never materialized. Johnson, in his second game back after 4 1/2 years off due to his infection with the AIDS virus, had just 15 points in 32 minutes, while Jordan, the NBA's scoring leader at better than 30 points per game, had just 17 points.


"It was great," said Pippen. "I knew the whole game would be built up around Michael and Magic and it'd give me the opportunity to put on my own little show on the side."


Johnson didn't have nearly the success he did against the defenseless Golden State Warriors in his return Tuesday, when he had 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.


Suns 123, Bullets 115, OT. In Landover, Maryland, Charles Barkley had 31 points and 15 rebounds and Kevin Johnson scored nine of his 23 points in overtime on Sunday as road-weary Phoenix beat Washington.


Danny Manning, playing his second game since returning from knee surgery, came off the Phoenix bench to score 22 points in 25 minutes as the Suns concluded a franchise-record eight-game road trip with a 5-3 record.


Hawks 106, Hornets 104. In Atlanta, Steve Smith scored 30 points and Grant Long put Atlanta ahead to stay on a three-point play with 1:03 remaining as the Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak.


Magic 122, Spurs 109. In Orlando, Florida, Nick Anderson stole the show from Shaquille O'Neal and David Robinson, scoring seven of his 33 points in overtime Sunday as the Orlando Magic stayed unbeaten at home with a 122-109 win over the San Antonio Spurs.


Pacers 90, Knicks 83. In Indianapolis, Derrick McKey scored 21 points as the Indiana Pacers extended their home winning streak to 17. Patrick Ewing had 22 points for the Knicks.


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(For other results, see Scorecard.)