In his legendary career filled with big games, Michael Jordan never had a night where he scored like this.
Thirty years ago today — March 28, 1990 — Jordan dropped a career-high 69 points on the Cleveland Cavaliers in a Bulls road win.
Jordan’s stat line is insane: 69 points on 23-of-37 shooting, 21-of-23 from free throw line, 18 rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Jordan took over when it mattered most, scoring eight points in overtime.
“I didn’t think about being tired because I wanted to win the game,” Jordan said after playing 50 minutes, via NBA.com, “I’ve been in that situation where I’ve scored a lot of points and we lost, and I didn’t want that to happen.
“So I kept pushing myself, kept talking to myself, saying, ‘Don’t stop, don’t stop. Keep going.’ You feel better about the effort when you win.”
The 1990 Bulls, the first year Phil Jackson was coach, went on to win 55 games and Jordan led the NBA in scoring at 33.6 points per game, but as they had for years the Bulls fell short in the playoffs when they ran into the Bad Boy Pistons. It was a year later when Chicago would start its historic run of titles.
Five years later, on March 28, 1995, Jordan would have his legendary double-nickle 55 point game against the Knicks.
March 28 was a good day for MJ.