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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chicago Hands Magic Its Worst Playoff Loss

CHICAGO -- Dennis Rodman dominated, the Chicago Bulls romped and most of the Orlando Magic forgot to show up.


Rodman grabbed 21 rebounds, scored 13 points and played tough defense on the much bigger Shaquille O'Neal on Sunday as the Bulls opened the Eastern Conference finals with a 121-83 victory.


Michael Jordan scored 21 points and Scottie Pippen had 18 for Chicago, which outrebounded Orlando 62-28 and took the first step to avenging last year's bitter second-round loss to the Magic.


Anfernee Hardaway, who drew a technical for shoving Rodman, had 38 points and O'Neal 27. But the Magic's other three starters -- Horace Grant, Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott -- combined for 2 points.


Grant, who overpowered the Bulls in the 1995 playoffs, had no points and one rebound before leaving with a twisted left elbow late in the third quarter. Team doctors said his status for Game 2 Tuesday night was unknown.


The Bulls did little wrong as they showed why they won an NBA-record 72 games this season. They shot 55 percent from the floor, and when they did miss, they often grabbed the rebound. Chicago had 20 offensive rebounds to six for Orlando.


Rodman demonstrated why the Bulls acquired him from San Antonio before the season. The blond-haired, tattooed rebounder was full of energy from the opening tip despite complaining of a stomach virus before the game.


"It doesn't matter what's wrong with me," he said. "I come out and do my job."


Rodman pumped his fist after tipping in baskets, grabbing seven offensive rebounds and even scoring a season-high.


"A lot of people are counting me out, and that's not right," Rodman said of his scoring.


When Bulls center Luc Longley got in foul trouble, the skinny, 6-foot-8 Rodman even defended the 7-foot-1, 301-pound O'Neal.


During the 13-0 third-quarter spurt that put the game away, Rodman forced O'Neal into two turnovers and a missed shot. Chicago opened the game from the start with a 10-0 run. Longley scored the first four points over O'Neal as the sellout crowd of 24,411 roared.


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Jordan wants a minimum of $36 million to stay with the Bulls for two more years, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.


"That's it, and that's the absolute bottom figure," Jordan told the newspaper Sunday night. "I want to stay here, and I feel like it's 70-30 that I will, maybe 80-20. But I'm prepared to go, and so is my family, if it doesn't happen."


Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks is the league's highest-paid player with a salary of $18.7 million. Orlando's O'Neal, who is being paid $5.7 million this season, is expected to get $20 million next season.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)