(1989) Michael Jordan Celebrates His Birthday Early With 39 2nd Half-Points & A Game-Winner

Michael Jordan always had the Bucks number in the 80s, starting with his third game in the NBA, when he dropped 37 on them. And on this day in history, 1989, his airness had one of his greatest and least known and/or appreciated performances of his career: 50 points, 39 in the second half, 27 in the 4th, which ended with a classic MJ game-winner.  The game-winner gave the Bulls their eight win in their past nine games against Milwaukee.

The 27 in the final quarter broke a stadium record (24) held by Wilt Chamberlain and Pete Maravich. The 39 in the second half was a franchise record and tied a NBA record held by Wilt (who else). It was also Jordan’s fifth 50 point game of the season, tying him with Elgin Baylor for 2nd place – you can guess who #1 is.

“Only one guy in the league could do what was done to us tonight.” said Bucks coach Dell Harris. “unfortunately, he was in a Bulls uniform.”

The performance and win was also a nice way for Jordan to celebrate his birthday a day early.


MJ also had his share of Bucks kills throughout the 90s — 48 in 90, poster dunk on Jack Sikma in 90, 47 in 93, 45 in 96 — and in 1998, he had a memorable duel with Ray Allen and scored 44 against the young Buck.


On January 3rd, 2016, the Bulls Jimmy Butler broke MJ’s franchise record of 39 second half points with 40 against the Raptors. Unlike Jordan, who was having a decent game before his second-half explosion, Butler only had two in the first half.

Source: Chicago Tribune