1998 Bulls Win NBA Championship

The 1998 NBA Finals would be déjà vu.  After finishing the season with identical 62 win seasons, the Bulls and Jazz would roll through the playoffs and meet again in the Finals.

The Jazz had home court advantage this year.  They won the first game in OT, but the Bulls fought back and took Game Two.  Game Three would be an epic game for all the wrong reasons for the Jazz.   The Bulls suffocating defense held the Jazz to a measly 54 points, at that time, the lowest point total ever.  Ironically, the Bulls were held to 49 points one year later.  The Jazz were able to bounce back a bit in Game Four, but not enough to claim a victory.

The Bulls led the series 3-1 as they headed out west.  In Game Five, Karl Malone had his best game of the series, putting up 39 points which would be enough for the Jazz to squeak out an 81-83 victory.

Returning back to Chicago for Game Six, the home crowd was preparing for what they imagined would be their last chance to watch Jordan.   With Scottie Pippen aggravating a back injury in warm ups, Jordan would have to carry the load and wow the fans one last time.  As the game wound down, the Bulls found themselves down by one point.  In a play that I'll remember forever, Jordan executed a crossover dribble and shook free from Byron Russell, elevated, and sunk a 20ft jumper to give the Bulls a one point lead.  Stockton's shot attempt to extend the series rimmed out, and the Chicago Bulls won the 1998 NBA Finals, making it a three-peat repeat.

To recap the Finals, check out The Chicago Bulls Encyclopedia by Alex Sachare, or Bill Wennington's Tales from the Bulls Hardwood.

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