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Bullets Baptized By Fire In Playoff Initiation By Bulls
25 April 1997. Chicago Bulls 98, Washington Bullets 86 (record: 44-39)
Game leaders: Howard (21 points), Strickland (10 rebounds), Strickland (8 assists)
Welcome to the playoffs, young Bullets. It was quite a wake-up call. The Bullets hung tough for about 3 quarters, but faded in the end in the face of 11 points from Michael Jordan in the final period.
It was a bad night for Chris Webber. He was in constant foul trouble and finished with 8 points on 3 of 7 shooting, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 turnovers. He knew he wasn't playing well, and it showed on his face.
Washington Post Coverage Bullets Can't Get Handle On Ball, Or Bulls Webber's Contributions Are Minute Cagey Bulls Adapt To Winning Ugly A Stolen Moment Passes (Michael Wilbon column)
Despite foul troubles for CWebb and Howard, the Bullets kept the game close. They played excellent defense on the Bulls, holding them to 38 percent shooting from the floor. However, they gave up 20 offensive rebounds and turned the ball over 22 times (Muresan had 6, CWebb and Cheaney had 5, and Strickland had 4). That's how you lose basketball games.
Still, they showed spunk and the Bulls were listless, at best. Dennis Rodman and Toni Kukoc, both coming off of injuries, showed major rust in their games and were non-factors. Steve Kerr chipped in 13 points off the bench, key in keeping the Bulls just out of the reach of the Bullets.
But coming into this game, the Bulls were talking like their early April loss to the Bullets was a fluke, because they had lunch with the President earlier that day. I thought that was a bunch of hooey when it made the papers, and the Bullets showed it in this game. They are ready and capable of playing the Bulls. The Bulls had best watch out for this crew; if they get any confidence, the Bulls could be in for a major dogfight.
wtf 30 April 1997
|CWebb Named Top Player In Final Regular Season Week||Jordan Writes A New Legend As Bullets Get Very Close|