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Michael Jordan 1997: 45pts Vs. Sonics, "George Karl Game"

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Published on Apr 14, 2007

Oh boy, what was George Karl thinking? Was it just a week ago when Van Gundy called MJ a 'con man', accusing him of being friendly with NBA players off the court so he could destroy them on the court? MJ responded with 51pts on 60% shooting while cursing Van Gundy out of the game during their next meeting. Did Karl not heed that warning?

Karl didn't really criticize MJ before this game, all he said was that MJ was 'playing not to get hurt' so he was now a 'jumpshooter'. Well, any comment on MJ's game was enough to awaken the beast. Maybe it was because this was the first meeting with the Sonics since the Bulls beat them for the championship the previous year. But then again, MJ had some words for Karl at the end of this game so obviously, it was a little more than just that.

With his superhuman ability to enter a zone on call, MJ did just what Karl ordered. He annihilated the Sonics with a torrid arsenal of finesse jumpers en route to 68% shooting for 45pts. Chicago went up by 18 at the 4th and MJ just cruised to victory - not even trying to push for 50. The message was loud and clear and there was no need to pour salt into Karl's wound.

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