Bulls Look to Block out Memories of Blowout

By McDill, Kent | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), May 10, 1996 | Go to article overview

Bulls Look to Block out Memories of Blowout


McDill, Kent, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Kent McDill Daily Herald Sports Writer

It's true the Bulls lost only 10 games all season long, setting an NBA record for wins with 72. But one of those 10 losses was by 32 points, and it came at the hands of the New York Knicks.

It was March 10 at Madison Square Garden, where the next two games in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series will be played. The Knicks won the game 104-72, creating a sense of accomplishment for a team adjusting to a new coach.

For the Bulls, it was an odd bump on the way to a banner season.

"That was one we went up and wiped off the books," coach Phil Jackson said. "We faced a team that was energized by the departure of a coach (Don Nelson). There was a mutiny that went on, and as a result the pirates banded together. They came out and played with great intensity."

The game was the second for the Knicks under new coach Jeff Van Gundy, who the day before had run the team through his first practice. After having difficulty living with the relaxed coaching style of Nelson, the Knicks responded to Van Gundy's Riley-like approach to practice, which ran three hours.

The Bulls shot 39 percent in the first half and the Knicks took a 50-42 halftime lead. The Bulls outscored New York 14-4 to start the third quarter and had a 56-54 lead, preparing for a dogfight to the end. But Derek Harper made four 3-pointers and the Knicks went on a 24-4 run to build a 78-60 lead. …

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