This Week In Chicago Sports History: Hawks Begin Historic Title Run With Game 6 Win

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)

It’s June 9th, 2010 — the Chicago Blackhawks are one game away from clinching their first title since 1961 and would have to do it in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, fueled by a bunch of young gun players who were just beginning to experience what playing at this level felt like.

With an early goal Dustin Byfuglien provided another highlight in the season that made him a folk hero with Hawks fans, but Scott Hartnell would answer back for the Flyers, tieing the score at 1-1 after the first twenty minutes. 

Daniel Briere gave the home team a brief lead but Patrick Sharp and Andrew Ladd both scored to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead after two periods.  The Flyers would respond again thanks to Scott Hartnell tying the score at 3-3, sending Game 6 into overtime.

The extra session wouldn’t last long as Patrick Kane would deliver the game winner sending Chicago home with Lord Stanley’s Cup for the first time in nearly 50 years. Captain Jonathan Toews would win the Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP) and free agent pickup Marian Hossa would win his first cup after losing the previous two seasons in stints with Pittsburgh and Detroit.

Bulls Set Tone In Finals Appearances

After surviving a tough six game series against the hated New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls were ready to complete their epic quest in winning a third consecutive championship in June of 1993.

The 1993 Finals would begin on the road for the defending champs on June 9th — the first time the Bulls faced that challenge — and they delivered the first blow big time in defeating the Phoenix Suns 100-92 with Michael Jordan leading the way with 31 points while Scottie Pippen added 27.

Charles Barkley led the Suns with 21 points and Richard Dumas, who replaced the injured Cedric Ceballos, chipped in with 20. The big story belonged to Suns point guard Kevin Johnson who scored only 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting while being booed by the home fans. 

Game 2 on the 11th would play out as a classic back and forth battle between Jordan and Barkley, who both scored 42 points, but it was Pippen’s block on Suns sharp shooter Danny Ainge late in the 4th quarter that preserved the 111-108 win and a commanding 2-0 series lead.  The Suns became the first time in NBA history to lose the first two games at home in the championship round.

Taking it to 1996 and the Finals series against Seattle, the record-breaking Bulls of this year were looking to hold serve at the United Center in their first championship series since ’93. 

After dominating Game 1, the Bulls showed their toughness again in a close battle, a 92-88 win in Game 2 on June 7th led by Jordan’s 29 points and Scottie Pippen’s 21.  The Sonics were led by Shawn Kemp’s 29 points and 13 rebounds while Gary Payton struggled with 13 points while talking trash to several Bulls players late in the game, including Jordan. Dennis Rodman made headlines by tying a Finals record of 11 offensive rebounds, the record was previously only held by Elvin Hayes.

Now, onto 1998 and an ultra-competitive send-off to the dynasty.

Playing for the title for the second time in as many years, the Bulls got the best of the Utah Jazz, who split the first two games in Salt Lake City, which was enough for the Bulls to try to seize on a chance to wrap up their sixth championship with three games on their home court. 

June 7th’s Game 3 started off hot for Jazz forward Karl Malone, but Chicago’s defense — aka The Sleeping Dobermans as nicknamed by late assistant coach John Bach — would step up and hold the Jazz to a record low 54 points, the lowest point total of any game in the 24-second shot clock era.

“Is this actually the score?” Jazz coach, and former Bulls great, Jerry Sloan was quoted in the Washington Post as saying when a box score was placed in front of him.

“I thought they scored 196. Seemed like they scored 196.”

Jordan would lead Chicago with 24 points while Toni Kukoc added 16. Malone led the Jazz with 22 points while his team would finish the contest shooting a dismal 30 percent from the field.

The Bulls would wind up having to clinch title No. 6 in Utah but this game at the UC remains a testament to the dynasty Bulls’ awesome ability to shut down opponents when it was most needed.

Sidney Brown is WARR Media's resident Chicago sports historian 

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