Michael Jordan gave the Bullets a double nickel.
Anyone who ever played against Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan knows how he turns his game up to an entirely new level in the Playoffs. During Game 2 of the 1st round series between the Bulls and Washington Bullets in the 1997 NBA Playoffs, Jordan put on a show that will never be forgotten. He scored an incredible 55 points, including 20 of the team’s last 23 points, to elevate the Bulls to a 109-104 win and a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five affair.
Second half surgeThe Bullets were a young, up-and-coming squad that had a promising core of talented players led by Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, and Rod Strickland. They finished the regular season as the eighth-seed to earn a Playoff showdown with the reigning champions. The Bullets were hardly fazed by their opponents as they established a 65-58 halftime lead in Game 2.
However, the Bulls flipped the switch in the third quarter and outscored the Bullets, 28-15. Then, with the Bullets not backing down in the fourth, pulling to within two at 86-84, His Airness went on to score the next 14 points to help the Bulls take a 100-93 lead.
Jordan was just scorching hot in that game, making 22 of his 35 shots and a pristine 10-of-10 from the line. He added seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Nothing anyone can doAfter the game, the Bullets were left with a feeling of helplessness in the face of Jordan’s greatness. Bullets wingman Tracy Murray, who scored 22 points in that game, said:
“There’s nothing you could do. You double-, triple-team him and he’s triple-pumping, falling and fading away, shooting up-and-unders from 15 and 17 feet away. He had his whole game going. I don’t think Hercules could stop him tonight.”