Ranking Michael Jordan’s 10 greatest Bulls performances by game score

Mary Raleigh
18/09/2023

The Chicago Bulls haven’t been the same since the Michael Jordan years. Granted, that’s a pretty high standard to live up to, but getting back on top after employing the greatest player in the history of the sport is no easy task. Needless to say, Bulls fans miss the Jordan era.Legends profile: Michael Jordan | NBA.com

By the end of his time in Chicago, Jordan won six championships, never lost in the NBA Finals, and took home five MVP awards. He put on some incredible shows while donning the red and black, but which ones were the best of the bunch? Which 10 Jordan performances were the best of his legendary career?

Since the 1983-84 season, the NBA has kept track of a statistic called Game Score. It combines basic statistics such as points, rebounds, assists, turnovers, and efficiency to calculate the impact a player has in a game. (The full equation can be found here.) By those numbers, these are the ten best Jordan games of all time. And, spoiler alert, only one was in a playoff game.

10. Michael Jordan’s 47.7 Game Score- March 7, 1996, vs. Detroit Pistons

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Jordan scored 53 points against the Detroit Pistons en route to the Bulls’ 54th win over their 72-win season, adding 11 rebounds, two assists, and six steals to his totals. He shot 21-of-28 from the field and 2-of-4 from three.

9. Michael Jordan’s 47.8 Game Score – April 16, 1987, vs. Atlanta Hawks

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Despite Jordan dropping 61 points, Chicago lost this game. Jordan also had 10 rebounds, one assist, four steals, and a block, but the Bulls couldn’t finish the job. He shot 22-of-38, but Dominique Wilkins’ 34 points led the Atlanta Hawks to victory.

8. Michael Jordan’s 47.9 Game Score – January 21, 1989, vs. Phoenix Suns

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Once again, Jordan lost this game. He finished the night with 53 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and a block while shooting 20-of-28, but it wasn’t enough. Instead, a well-rounded attack from the Phoenix Suns took down the Bulls.

7. Michael Jordan’s 48.6 Game Score – December 23, 1992, vs. Washington Bullets

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Back in the winning column with this one, Jordan dismantled a struggling Washington Bullets squad. He put up 57 points, two rebounds, 10 assists, three steals, and one block on 22-of-37 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 shooting from three-point land. Jordan’s six threes in this one are tied for the second-most he’s ever made in a game.

6. Michael Jordan’s 49.7 Game Score – April 12, 1987, vs. Indiana Pacers

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In his third NBA season, Jordan’s Bulls struggled, but in this contest, he willed them to victory. Jordan ended the game with 53 points, four rebounds, eight assists, four steals, and two blocks while shooting 19-of-27 from the floor. Chicago won by 21 points.

5. Michael Jordan’s 49.8 Game Score – April 29, 1992, @ Miami Heat

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This is the sole Jordan playoff performance on this list. He and Scottie Pippen carried the Bulls to victory in a game only won by five points. Jordan had 56 points, five rebounds, five assists, four steals, and two blocks while shooting 20-of-30 overall. Pippin chipped in with 31 points of his own, and nobody else on Chicago cracked 15.

4. Michael Jordan’s 51.2 Game Score – February 26, 1987, vs. New Jersey Nets

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In another early-career performance, Jordan led the Bulls to a big win in this one. He dropped 58 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks on 16-of-25 shooting. The Bulls won by 15 points.

3. Michael Jordan’s other 51.2 Game Score – November 3, 1989, vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

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Oddly enough, Jordan has earned a 51.2 Game Score twice. In this one, he picked up a five-point win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Opening Night in 1989. He put up 54 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, three steals, and one block while shooting 19-of-31 overall and 1-of-2 from distance.

2. Michael Jordan’s 54.7 Game Score – April 3, 1988, @ Detroit Pistons

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The Bulls only won by two points in this game, as Jordan managed to outduel Isiah Thomas’ Pistons. Jordan ended the night with 59 points, four rebounds, six assists, two steals, and two blocks on 21-of-27 shooting.

1. Michael Jordan’s 64.6 Game Score – March 28, 1990, @ Cleveland Cavaliers

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This is far and away Jordan’s best statistical game of all time and also the best Game Score ever recorded in the history of the NBA. In a four-point win over the Cavaliers, Jordan had a career-high 69 points to go along with 18 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and one block. He shot 23-of-37 from the floor and 2-of-6 from distance.

A full list of the top Game Scores in NBA history can be found here.

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