‘The Last Dance’ Redux: Michael Jordan and the Bulls Get Their Rings and Their First Win of the 1997-98 NBA Season
Amid all the hoopla, of course, Michael Jordan & Co. still had a game to play. And coming off an opening-night loss to the Boston Celtics, one in which they blew a 20-point lead, this matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers became a little more important.
Ring night often brings a lack of focus on the game itself, but the Bulls were determined to get into the win column and did just that with an easy 94-74 win.
Phil Jackson tinkered with the starting lineup a touch, opting to start Randy Brown over Toni Kukoc. Dennis Rodman rode the pine to kick things off for the second straight night.
As it went the night before against Boston, Chicago got off to a fast start, holding a 27-15 lead after the first quarter and a 44-31 advantage at the halfway point.
But instead of squandering the lead in the third as they’d done against the Celtics, the Bulls ran away with this one coming out of the locker room, hitting 16 of 21 shots from the floor to outscore the Sixers 35-18. And they coasted to a 20-point win from there.
Ron Harper led the way for the champs and was one of four Bulls in double figures. Michael Jordan bounced back from a rough shooting night in Beantown to hit seven of 14 field goals, scoring 16 points in just over 24 minutes. Jason Caffey chipped in with 14, while Luc Longley added a dozen points and 10 rebounds.
Jerry Stackhouse led the Sixers with 15 points, with Allen Iverson and Jim Jackson each adding 13. Philadelphia struggled to get the ball in the basket all night, making just 37.2% of its shots. The loss dropped Larry Brown’s group to 0-2.
Here’s a look at the NBA standings following all the action on November 1, 1997.
|New Jersey Nets||2||0|
|New York Knicks||1||0|
|San Antonio Spurs||2||0|
|Portland Trail Blazers||1||1|
|Golden State Warriors||0||2|
Up next for the “Last Dance” Bulls was a double-overtime thriller with the San Antonio Spurs.
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