‘The Last Dance’ Redux: Michael Jordan and the Bulls Took One of Their Worst Losses of the Year on Veterans Day to the Cavaliers
Coming off a three-day break following a victory over the previously undefeated New Jersey Nets, a triumph in which Michael Jordan finally got a little help from his teammates, the Chicago Bulls continued their “Last Dance” season with a matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 11, 1997.
The Cavs came into this Veterans Day clash at just 2-3 but had played a tough schedule to open the season. Three nights earlier, they nearly became the first team to defeat the undefeated Atlanta Hawks but came up just short, falling 99-97 in overtime. They wouldn’t have nearly as much trouble with Chicago.
The Bulls kept things close in the first quarter behind a solid 12 minutes from Jordan, who scored 10 points on 4-for-8 shooting. But he only scored nine points the rest of the way as he and the majority of his Bulls teammates struggled shooting the basketball.
They made just four field goals as a team in the second quarter, shooting a woeful 25%. Meanwhile, Cleveland hit 64.3% of its shots and outscored Chicago by 10 to take a 14-point lead into halftime. And the Cavs coasted from there to take a 101-80 victory.
Four of Cleveland’s five starters scored in double figures, led by Shawn Kemp, who scored 21 points and added nine rebounds. Wesley Person chipped in with 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
Despite scoring just 19 points, Jordan still nearly outscored his fellow Bulls starters as the other four combined for only 21 — and 14 of those came from Luc Longley. Chicago shot just 36.9% from the floor. The 21-point defeat would turn out to be the Bulls’ third-worst loss of the year.
Here’s a look at the NBA standings following all the action on November 11, 1997.
|New Jersey Nets||4||1|
|New York Knicks||4||3|
|San Antonio Spurs||6||1|
|Portland Trail Blazers||5||1|
|Golden State Warriors||0||6|
Have thoughts on this topic? Keep the conversation rolling in our comments section below.