The best coaching move of Game 2 was the installation of Michael Jordan at point guard, a position he had played often two seasons ago under former coach Doug Collins but seldom since. Jordan scored only two points in the first period and 10 in the first half. He finished with a game-high 33.
"I had to get him going offensively," Chicago coach Phil Jackson said. "He had sat back long enough. Once he gets going, he can roll over the top of teams."
The move also enabled Scottie Pippen to defend Lakers guard Magic Johnson, freeing up Jordan to concentrate more at the offensive end.
"I think we're going to try to do both, just to give (Johnson) a different look," Jordan said.
Jackson, of course, expects the Lakers to counter the strategy.
"When you lose, you make adjustments, you counteract," Jackson said. "The next game will be a different game, as every game will in this series."
Forget Game 2
Johnson said the playoff-tested Lakers have to put Game 2 behind them.
"Nobody wants to get blown out," Johnson said, "but it happens. You don't like it, but it happens. But no matter if it's one point or 20 points, the series is still 1-1."
Added Lakers forward James Worthy: "Anytime you win, especially in the finals, it's a confidence booster. We've been in games before and been blown out. It's not the end of the world and we'll be ready on Friday."
Go down shooting
During the news conference after the Game 1 loss, Jordan singled out teammate John Paxson for missing shots.
"I told John personally that if we were going to go down we were going to go down with no bullets in our holster," Jordan said after the Bulls' victory in Game 2. "I told him to keep shooting."
Paxson responded by going 8-for-8.
"That's the way Michael is," Jackson said. "He's a challenge guy. He's not a guy who is going to commiserate with somebody who is having a bad night, or put his arm on his back. He's going to say, "Step up, chump, and make some shots.'
Of the 10 NBA Finals played in the 2-3-2 format, nine have been won by teams starting with homecourt advantage. The exception was the 1985 Lakers.
Chicago does not exactly come to the Great Western Forum brimming with confidence. The Bulls have won just once in their last seven meetings in L.A. Chicago has held its opponent below 100 points in 12 of 14 playoff games. The Bulls have had the homecourt advantage in nine playoff series in the franchise's history. They won all eight previous series.Game 2 has statistically been the least important game of the finals to win. Teams that have won Game 2 have won 28 previous NBA Finals and lost 16. Paxson hit all eight of his field goals in Game 2. The finals record for most field goals in a game without a miss is 11, by Scott Wedman of Boston against the Lakers in 1985.The 21-point defeat was the Lakers biggest playoff loss since a 108-80 loss at Utah in Game 6 in the 1988 Western Conference semifinals.The Lakers shot 95.5 percent from the foul line in Game 2 (21-of-22), second-best in finals history. The Lakers and Bulls combined free-throw percentage 28-of-30 (93.3) also set an NBA Finals record.
Bird to have surgery
Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird will undergo surgery today in Boston to repair a back injury that nagged him throughout the 1990-91 NBA season.
_ Information from John Harris and the Associated Press was used in this report.