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Coming off a one-night road trip, resulting in a two-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls returned to the United Center on November 8, 1997, for a matchup with the undefeated New Jersey Nets.

But unlike their battle with the Hawks, who were also undefeated, the Bulls ended the Nets’ perfect start to the 1997-98 season with a 99-86 victory. And for the first time in four games, Michael Jordan, who had to carry the vast majority of the load with Scottie Pippen out of the lineup, finally got some help.

After outscoring his four fellow starters for three straight games, Jordan was barely the leading scorer for Chicago’s starting five on this night, recording just 15 points, at the time a season-low, on 5-for-13 shooting from the floor.

Ron Harper picked up some of the slack with 14, while Randy Brown and Dennis Rodman scored seven apiece. This was the first start of the year for Rodman, who also added a dozen rebounds.

Michael Jordan circa November 1997
Michael Jordan circa November 1997 | Kimberly Barth/AFP via Getty Images

But the big star of the night was Steve Kerr, who played close to 32 minutes and made eight of 13 shots from the field, including four of six from the three-point line, for 21 points. This was Kerr’s highest output in a Bulls uniform and the third-highest-scoring game of his entire career.

He scored 24 for the Cavs against the Pacers on April 17, 1992, only eight days after dropping 23 on the Hornets. Kerr’s previous high for Chicago was a 20-point effort on January 14, 1994, in a win over the Utah Jazz, a total he’d match later on during the Bulls’ “Last Dance” season.

Sam Cassell led the way for the Nets with 19 points, seven assists, and four steals, while Kendall Gill chipped in with 17 despite shooting a woeful 3-for-12 from the floor.

BullsPTSREBASTSTLBLK
Dennis Rodman712421
Michael Jordan155220
Ron Harper143220
Randy Brown 72300
Luc Longley45201
Steve Kerr216310
Toni Kukoc177711
Joe Kleine44310
Scott Burrell63210
Jason Caffey01100
Keith Booth00100
Jud Buechler40010
NetsPTSREBASTSTLBLK
Sam Cassell191740
Chris Gatling159111
Kendall Gill176220
Jayson Williams121010
Kevin Edwards71320
David Benoit84030
Sherman Douglas81300
Michael Cage04000
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Here’s a look at the NBA standings following all the action on November 8, 1997.

Eastern ConferenceWL
Atlanta Hawks60
Milwaukee Bucks41
New Jersey Nets41
Charlotte Hornets42
Chicago Bulls42
Miami Heat42
New York Knicks32
Orlando Magic33
Cleveland Cavaliers23
Detroit Pistons23
Indiana Pacers24
Washington Wizards24
Toronto Raptors14
Boston Celtics15
Philadelphia 76ers04
Western ConferenceWL
LA Lakers30
Minnesota Timberwolves41
Portland Trail Blazers41
San Antonio Spurs41
Seattle Supersonics41
Phoenix Suns31
Dallas Mavericks32
Houston Rockets32
Utah Jazz24
LA Clippers14
Vancouver Grizzlies14
Denver Nuggets04
Sacramento Kings04
Golden State Warriors05

As quite a bit of Episode 9 of The Last Dance was dedicated to Steve Kerr, I’m surprised this game wasn’t mentioned. After all, it focused on how important of a role player he was to the Bulls as a whole, so throwing in his career-high for the franchise at least deserved a little recognition.

I suppose his game-winning shot in the ’97 NBA Finals got the point across well enough. But hey, maybe now you know something you didn’t when you clicked in here. So you’re welcome.

Up next for the “Last Dance” Bulls was an ugly loss to Kerr’s former team.

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