With yet another new head coach, Doug Collins, in for 1986-87, the Bulls improved to 40-42. Chicago qualified for the playoffs for the third straight season but was again eliminated by Boston in the first round.
The team's record was a secondary concern for most fans, who had their eyes riveted on team superstar Jordan. In late November and early December he went on a rampage, scoring 40 or more points in nine consecutive games. On February 26 he poured in 58 points against the New Jersey Nets, including a record 26 of 27 free throws. On March 4 he hit for 61 points against Detroit. Just a month later, on April 16, he matched that performance with 61 against Atlanta. That season Jordan became the first NBA player to reach 3,000 points in a season since Wilt Chamberlain did it in 1962-63.
Jordan led the league in scoring at 37.1 points per game, his career high for a season. He set Bulls single-season records for points (3,041), field goals (1,098), free throws (833), and steals (236). His output was rewarded with the first in a series of All-NBA First Team selections.