This Week in Chicago Sports History: Bulls Sweep of Bad Boys Leads Memorial Day Memories

WARR producer and Blackhawks reporter Sid “The Kid” is a reliable source of information when it comes to Chicago sports throughout the ages. Now every #throwbackthursday Sid gives you some of the top moments to remember for each week forward.

By Sidney Brown (@sidkid80)

The road block to an NBA championship for Michael Jordan and his Bulls were the Detroit Pistons, famously known as “The Bad Boys.” The Pistons eliminated Chicago the previous three seasons, including the last two in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bulls won the regular season series 3-2, but the playoffs were a whole different story. After dominating Detroit in the first three games of the 1991 ECF, the Bulls clinched the series and a sweep with a 115-94 win.

Game 4 would be remembered for two events: Dennis Rodman’s hard foul on Scottie Pippen in the second quarter and the entire Pistons team walking off the court with seven seconds remaining, led by Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer. The Bad Boys’ reign was over and the Bulls were headed to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Outside of beating the Lakers for the 1991 title, Bulls fans most relished this moment of Jordan and his teammates finally getting over the hurdle in Detroit.

Jordan’s 54 Ties Conference Finals Versus Knicks

After Chicago eliminated the Knicks the previous two seasons, the 1993 matchup would feature the top two teams in the East battling for the crown. The Bulls faced adversity for the first time in the 1993 playoffs after the Knicks’ first two wins at MSG. After winning Game 3 handily, Chicago was prepared to give the visitors trouble once again.

Patrick Ewing and John Starks both led New York with 24 points, but it was Michael Jordan who would set a record for scoring the most points against the Knicks in a playoff game with 54, en route to a 105-95 victory that tied the series 2-2. 

Bulls Get “Sweep” Revenge by Defeating Magic

For the second consecutive season, the Bulls and Magic faced each other in the playoffs, this time for a trip to the NBA Finals. After defeating Chicago the previous year, Orlando rolled in with confidence, but the Bulls had a revamped Michael Jordan and the best rebounder of his era in Dennis Rodman. The series was no contest and the lack of drama, outside of the Bulls’ 18-point comeback win in Game 2, proved it.

Game 4 was a formality for the Bulls, as they defeated Orlando on the road 106-101 led by Michael Jordan’s 45 points.  The sweep helped the Bulls return to the championship round for the first time since 1993, but this game would be also remembered for the surprise ending to the Penny/Shaq-era in Orlando, with Shaquille O’Neal leaving Florida for the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Hawks Rally in Detroit to Tie Conference Semis

Trailing 3-1 in the second round series to the rival Red Wings, the Blackhawks’ dream season was on life support. After winning Game 5 in Chicago, the Hawks were determined to win Game 6 after dropping Games 3 and 4 in Motown. 

They started off hot, courtesy of Marian Hossa’s power-play goal in the opening period, but Joakim Andersson’s second-period goal given up Corey Crawford set the Hawks back. The final period saw Chicago respond with three goals, including a penalty shot goal by Michael Frolik, to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win to tie the series at 3-3.  Chicago would finish the comeback with a Game 7 victory, thanks to Brent Seabrook’s game winner in overtime.

Hawks Take 2-0 Lead Against Flyers in Stanley Cup Finals

After a high-scoring Game 1 win at United Center, the Hawks and Flyers endured a much different battle in Game 2. This contest would turn into a physical old school playoff hockey, with the addition of Daniel Carcillo into the lineup for the Flyers and Adam Burish and Ben Eager for the Hawks.  The Hawks struck first with goals from Marian Hossa and Eager.  Philadelphia’s Simon Gagne responded in the third period, but it was Chicago that held on for a 2-1 win, taking command of the series 2-0.

Perez, White Sox Walk-Off on Angels in Championship Season

In this storybook season for the South Siders, the White Sox took advantage of breaks and received stellar starting pitching along with timely offense. This Memorial Day contest versus the Angels proved no different. After the Sox jumped out to an early 3-0 lead through three innings, the Angels responded with four runs, including a Steve Finley home run in the seventh, to lead 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Timo Perez’s two-run, game-winning hit finished this game in style, giving the home team a 5-4 win and an MLB-best record at 34-17.  The Sox would have the best record in baseball in one-run games during the 2005 season, which helped them to their first title in 88 years.

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