I really struggled to edit this one because there were so many great plays and sequences that I wanted to fit. Also wanted to include some plays that capture the amazing intensity of the game. The ending of the video is a little bit abrupt but that's because of the time limitation. It doesn't mean I cut out something important.
May 17, 1992
In one of the most intense playoff series ever, it was game 7 in Chicago. In game 6, Starks had played the game of his life. Scored a career high of 27 points in 27 minutes while holding Jordan to 9-25 shooting. People were questioning Jordan's strength and stamina after he admitted after the game that he was mentally drained.
After a two days rest, however, he is his old self once again. Jordan finishes with 42pts (15-29), 6rbds, 4 asts. Don't have the definite numbers for his steals and blocks. He starts the game shooting 10-13 from the field and ends the half with 29 points on 10-15 shooting.
Pippen who was really abused by Xavier McDaniel all series long finally comes up big with 17pts, 10rbds, and 11 asts. Grant also plays very solid defense.
This game has some of the most memorable sequences of Jordan's career. The face-off with Xavier and the hustle play in the second half where Magic says "Whose game is it? it's Michael Jordan's game", are really timeless classics.
Despite the great effort by the Bulls, Knicks manages to hold on within 2-10 points until the fourth quarter. Then, the lead gets bigger and they accept the defeat.
Post game notes and quotes:
CHICAGO (AP) Jordan, who scored 42 points in a memorable effort, hopes the Bulls have been awakened by the scare. "We went through this series kind of sleepwalking, and they definitely woke us up," said the miracle man. "We came in and expected a four-game sweep like everyone else. They got in our face and said, `It's not going to be as easy as you guys think.' "
Perhaps the greatest pressure performer in sports, Jordan dominated from the start and scored 29 first-half points.
"But we responded to the pressure of the seventh game and played more like people expected. I think this has hardened us for the next series and the one after that."
"It would have been very disappointing not to get to the level we did last year. If I was tired, I didn't feel it. This is the kind of game you want to play."
"I consulted my father, and he's a father, so he said, 'be aggressive. They'll take your lead and feed off what you do,' " Jordan related afterward.
"To be honest," said Riley, "it was the type of defense that I had not seen from them this series. We couldn't drive, or hit the gaps, or do much of anything."
"I wasn't prepared for this kind of game and ending. They flattened us in the third period and throughout the end of the game. They played as what they are - world champions."
"This series was like a slap in the face," Jordan said. "It was mentally draining to get up every morning and know what you were going to be in for. But I think this team learned how to face a physical team and overcome it."
While the Bulls' vulnerabilities were exposed by the Knicks, the test ultimately could prove beneficial. "I think they've made us a more hardened team," coach Phil Jackson said. "From here on, we'll play more aggressively."
Jordan, who was thought to be tiring because of heavy minutes and hard fouls, scored 18
points in the first quarter as the Bulls burst to a 30-25 lead.
"His first 6 minutes of basketball showed me we should have played the game yesterday,"
Riley said. "He had one day too much of rest."
"He's the best skilled player in the league," Knicks guard Gerald Wilkins said. "And when he comes with the strength he had today, there's nothing you can do. His strength was more than all the Bulls players' strength stacked up on each other."
Apart from the swooping, spinning reverse layups and high-rise jumpers, Jordan's best move may have come with 2:53 left in the first period, when he picked up a technical foul coming to the defense of teammate Scottie Pippen.
McDaniel had elbowed Pippen on a move to the basket. Knowing Pippen is a sensitive man of the '90s, Jordan spoke up for him.
"There was an intimidation factor on both sides," said Jordan. "I felt like he was trying to intimidate Scottie. It was very important to come to Scottie's support and
not let one player get inside his head."