During the Denver Nuggets rout of the New Orleans Hornets in game four, it got me to thinking about another classic blowout in game three of the 1998 NBA Finals between the Utah Jazz and the Chicago Bulls.
Both game one and game two of the series were heavily contested and appeared that game three was going to be another nail-biting finish as the series shifted to Chicago. Well, the only nail-biting done during this game was by Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.
The Bulls absolutely destroyed the Utah Jazz by the score of 96-54. At the time, it was the lowest output scored in an NBA game by a single team in the shot clock era and still is the most lopsided defeat in NBA Finals history.
Not all of the Jazz players had a bad day, Karl Malone had one of his best shooting performances going 8 for 11 from the field and ending his day with 22 points. The only problem was that no other Utah Jazz player scored in double-figures.
On the Chicago side, it was the opposite every Bulls player on their active roster scored. Sure, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen got their points but little known reserve players like Randy Brown, Dickey Simpkins, and the immortal Scott Burrell had solid performances off the bench.
At the end of the game, the only question was whether or not Bulls center Bill Wennington was going to score. (He eventually did on a jump-shot)
NBC’s commentators Bob Costas and Isiah Thomas had a field day during the blow-out from reference to the Sound of Music, Jud Buechler’s ability to play volley-ball, and Isiah laughing during a replay of Dickey Simpkins dunk stating, “Oh My, Dickey”.
A quote from Costas signified this blow-out at its purest level,
“All that’s missing for Utah is a blindfold and a cigarette.”