In Game 3 of the 1998 Finals, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls destroyed the Utah Jazz by a final score of 96-54. 23 years later, the Chicago Sky of the WNBA etched their name next to the Bulls.
The Sky are in the 2021 WNBA Finals, taking on the Phoenix Mercury. They took a 2-1 series lead by winning Game 3, 86-50. Chicago is now one win away from winning the championship.
Not only are the Sky trying to emulate what Jordan and the Bulls did in 1998 by winning it all, but they are also breaking postseason records as MJ and Co. did.
Michael Jordan and Bulls beat Jazz by Finals record 42 points
The Bulls made NBA Finals history on June 7, 1998, by defeating the Jazz by a whopping 42 points, the largest margin of victory in Finals history. Jordan led Chicago with 24 points in 32 minutes. He shot 7-of-14 from the field and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line.
Every player on the Bulls scored in the game. Meanwhile, the Jazz shot only 30.0% from the floor as a team and committed 26 turnovers. Hall of Famer Karl Malone was the only player who showed up for Utah. He poured in 22 points in 31 minutes. No one else on the team scored more than eight points.
Led by Jordan and Scottie Pippen, the Bulls won six championships during the ’90s and three-peated twice. Although the Sky would love to create a dynasty of their own, they can’t get ahead of themselves and must finish the job by winning the 2021 title, and they certainly looked like a focused team in Game 3.
Sky beat Mercury by 36 points
The Sky defeated the Mercury by 36 points in Game 3 of the 2021 WNBA Finals. It’s the biggest margin of victory in WNBA Finals history. Chicago teams now hold the record for largest margin of victory in both a WNBA Finals game and an NBA Finals game.
Kahleah Copper led the Sky in Game 3 by scoring 22 points in 24 minutes. Chicago can wrap up the series at home in Game 4, but it won’t be easy since the Mercury are 3-0 in this year’s playoffs after a loss.
The Bulls’ championship in 1998 is the last title a Chicago basketball team won. Ever since Jordan retired, the Bulls haven’t gotten back to the NBA Finals. They reached the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals but lost to the Miami Heat in five games.
The Sky can make the city of Chicago proud by winning the title in Game 4. The franchise has never won the WNBA title, and it would undoubtedly be special for Chicago native Candace Parker to win a championship in her hometown. Sky fans are certainly hoping that Parker can channel her inner Jordan in Game 4.
Michael Jordan was unstoppable in the NBA Finals
In 35 Finals games, Jordan averaged 33.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists. He won all six Finals MVPs and never had to play in a Game 7.
During the ’90s, the Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics, and Jazz (twice) for their six championships. Jordan prevented Malone, John Stockton, and Charles Barkley from winning titles during their Hall of Fame careers.
The current version of the Bulls improved this offseason. However, they aren’t championship contenders yet. With that said, the Sky are the city of Chicago’s best hope for a basketball ring.