NBA Playoffs 1998: NBA Finals, Game 1
Chicago Bulls (0-1) @ Utah Jazz (1-0) , Delta Center: 8:35 EST
Jazz win! Jazz win! Jazz win!
John Stockton took control in Overtime, hitting big shots down the stretch, and finding his team mates for good score. The Jazz escape game one, a game where they were leading at the most by 8 points, with a much needed, gritty victory. This is exactly the type of win that NBA Champions get. Karl Malone shot a putrid 9/25, only got to the free throw line 4 times, but still finished with a 21/14 night. The Mailman added 2 assists, steals, and blocks.
Bryon Russell added 15 points and 8 rebounds with solid defense. The Jazz youth brigade of Russell, Howard Eisley (8 points, 6 assists, 1 steal), and Shandon Anderson (6 points, 3 rebounds, absolute abuse of whom ever was defending him) made a huge difference. The Jazz bench outscored the Bulls 22 to 8.
Chicago was paced by Michael Jordan who had 33 points (44.8 fg%) and 2 assists. Scottie Pippen made some big shots, and finished with 21 points, 8 boards, a great 1/7 from deep, and one ugly face. Luc Longley was a good surprise, he was saddled with foul trouble early but still came back to almost have a double double. Dennis Rodman did nothing in this game.
And yeah, the Bulls bench only had 8 points. The Jazz plan from the regular season worked, and recent history proved to be worth more than ancient history.
And furthermore, John Stockton is awesome. Game winner. Great plays all game long. 24 points, 8 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 9/12 shooting, 6/7 from the free throw line. And a 139 Offensive Rating for the game. !!!! Jordan's was only 111. Pippen's only 86. Malone's was only 80.
In a game of stars, John shone the brightest tonight.
Game 2 will be played two nights from now.
Go Jazz go!