29 years ago today, Michael Jordan breaks Bulls single-game points record

SHARE 29 years ago today, Michael Jordan breaks Bulls single-game points record

The Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan prepares to stuff the ball during the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk contest in Seattle in this Feb. 7, 1987 photo. ESPN’s greatest athlete of the century will be announced Sunday, Dec. 26, 1999, with the field down to two players: Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan. (AP Photo/Kirthmon Dozier)

Michael Jordan set a pair of Bulls records in a win over the Nets on this day in 1987.

The 24-year-old guard poured in 59 points – including 42 in the first half – to break the team’s regular-season, single-game points record of 56 established by Chet Walker on Feb. 6, 1972.

It was one of eight 50-point games for Jordan that season, but it could have been more. According to the New York Times, Jordan asked first-year coach Doug Collins to come out of the game with almost three minutes still remaining in the fourth quarter.

“Michael took a lot of pressure off me by being asked to sit down,” Collins said, via the New York Times. “I wanted him to get as many points as possible, but by that point I asked myself, did we have a big enough lead, and the answer was yes.”

In addition to breaking the points record, Jordan shattered the team’s single-game free-throw record by sinking 26 of 27 attempts.

“Yes, I wanted to break Chet Walker’s record, but for me it was enough,” Jordan told the New York Times.

The record wouldn’t last long. Jordan scored a career-high 61 points a week later and then again in April.

WATCH: Jordan puts on a show against Nets

Stats via Basketball-Reference

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