‘The Last Dance’ Redux: The Bulls Lose Their Second Straight in an Eastern Conference Finals Preview With the Pacers
Coming off a one-point loss to the Seattle Supersonics, the “Last Dance” Chicago Bulls continued their seven-game road trip in Indiana on November 28, 1997, for the first of 11 matchups with the Pacers throughout the season.
Neither team was playing at the level that would ultimately take them to the Eastern Conference Finals, as Chicago entered the game with an 8-6 record while Indiana came in with a .500 mark at 6-6. And this wasn’t a particularly well-played game overall. Nevertheless, the Pacers walked away with a 94-83 victory and surpassed the Bulls in the standings.
Oddly enough, however, had the postseason started that day, neither team would have been included. Yeah, I know this was early in the year, but it just goes to show how much the Bulls were struggling early on.
Chicago shot just 41% from the floor in the loss, while Larry Bird’s group wasn’t much better in victory, making just 43.3% of its attempts.
Reggie Miller was one of four Pacers in double figures, leading the way with 24 points. Rik Smits chipped in with 18 points, while Jalen Rose and Travis Best added 13 and 11, respectively, off the bench.
Michael Jordan led the way for the Bulls, making 11 of 26 shots from the floor and just four of eight from the foul line en route to 26 points. Luc Longley was the only other Bull in double figures with 14 points.
Here’s a look at the NBA standings following all the action on November 28, 1997.
|New Jersey Nets||9||5|
|New York Knicks||9||5|
|Portland Trail Blazers||10||5|
|San Antonio Spurs||8||6|
|Golden State Warriors||1||12|
Up next for the “Last Dance” Bulls was their second matchup of the year with the Washington Wizards.
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