Michael Jordan's 10 best vs. Knicks
February, 15, 2013
By Mark Simon | ESPN Stats & Information
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesPatrick Ewing's Knicks and Michael Jordan's Bulls treated fans to several memorable games.Michael Jordan turns 50 on Sunday. To mark the occasion, we bring you his top 10 moments against the Knicks:
10. Nov. 8, 1984: First time at MSG
Two weeks into his NBA career, Jordan put on quite a show for the fans in his MSG debut. He went 15-for-22 from the field for 33 points in a 121-106 Bulls rout, but it was how Jordan scored two of those points that wowed the crowd.
Jordan stole a Darrell Walker pass, sprinted ahead, took off about 15 feet from the basket, cradled the ball and dunked on his way down. It was a dunk that would become famous in highlight videos, marking the moment that Jordan truly arrived.
Highlights from the game can be seen here. They're worth checking out.
9. Dec. 7, 1984/Nov. 21, 1986: Early Heroics
Jordan established early on in his career his ability to snatch victory away from the Knicks.
The first instance came on Dec. 7, 1984, when he hit a 17-footer over two men with five seconds left to give the Bulls a 95-93 win.
A little less than two years later, he would get the Knicks again, dashing their hopes in dramatic fashion.
Jordan scored the Bulls' last 18 points. The last two of Jordan's 40 points were buzzer-beating, as his side jumper over three men, right in front of Knicks coach Hubie Brown, came with a second left and beat the Knicks 101-99.
8. Nov. 1, 1986: First time for 50
Jordan would score 50 or more points against the Knicks on four different occasions. This game made him the first to score that many at the new Madison Square Garden as he paced the Bulls to a 108-103 victory.
7. March 8, 1998: Turning back the clock
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesMarch 8, 1998: Michael Jordan chose the original Air Jordan design for his footwear in his final MSG game with the Bulls.
Jordan thought this would be his last game at Madison Square Garden before his (second) retirement, so he wanted to do something special.
He wore a pair of Air Jordan sneakers from his rookie season and used them to score 42 points in a 102-89 win.
"Some of the moves seemed to be coming from 1984," Jordan told the media afterward. "I kind of went retroactive today."
6. Dec. 22, 2001: One for good measure
In that rather unmemorable stint as a member of the Wizards, Jordan would wreak havoc on the Knicks one more time. This time, he'd beat them with a jumper over Latrell Sprewell with three seconds remaining.
Afterward, Jordan would reminisce about his time at the Garden, noting it was one of his all-time favorite places to play ... and a place where he broke the hearts of Knicks fans.
5. 1989 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Games 1, 4 and 6
Jordan ruined the Knicks' oft-forgotten playoff run in the Eastern Conference semis (had the Knicks won the series, they would have faced the Detroit Pistons, against whom they were 4-0 that season).
The Knicks were coming off a sweep of the Philadelphia 76ers and had an eight-point lead at home in Game 1 of the series with 3:43 left, but they couldn't hang on. Jordan finished with a triple-double, scoring half of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.
In Game 4, Jordan played with a stomach virus and beat the Knicks with a 47-point effort to even the series.
In the decisive Game 6, after the Knicks had tied the score on Trent Tucker's four-point play, Jordan (who scored 40 points) hit two free throws with four seconds left to put the Bulls back ahead and end the Knicks' season.
For the series, Jordan averaged 35.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.3 blocks. Oh, and he shot 55 percent from the field.
"Michael Jordan is the best player to ever put on a uniform," then-Knicks coach Rick Pitino told the media afterward.
4. 1992 Eastern Conference Semifinals Game 7: Finishing them off
No one expected the Knicks to give the Bulls a scare in this series, as the Bulls were 16 wins better than them in the regular season.
But the Knicks gave it a pretty good go, winning Game 1 in Chicago and taking the series to seven games.
Jordan ensured that the Knicks would have no shot at winning this decisive game on his home floor. He'd score 42 points in a 110-81 rout.
3. 1993 Eastern Conference Finals Game 4 and 5: Jordan's Revenge
This was the year the Knicks should have beaten the Bulls. They led the Eastern Conference Finals 2-0 but couldn't finish the deal.
Sportswriter Terry Pluto documented Game 4 as the day Jordan won with "341 feet of jump shots." There would be no dunks in this 54-point performance, one in which Jordan would shoot 18-for-30 from the field, including 6-for-9 from 3-point range.
This was the sort of thing that happened when Jordan got mad, and he was quite peeved after reports surfaced that he was gambling in Atlantic City between Games 1 and 2. Jordan proved to the basketball world that he was still the best in the game.
The next game in that series is best remembered for Charles Smith's repeated inability to score in the closing seconds with the game.
Though much of the Knicks' pain in this game was self-inflicted (20-for-35 from the free throw line), Jordan did his part with a triple-double: 29 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.
The Bulls would take a 3-2 series lead by stealing this game. They would close out the Knicks in Game 6.
2. 1991 Eastern Conference First Round, Game 3: The Dunk
The Bulls would embarrass the Knicks in a three-game sweep in the first round of the 1991 NBA playoffs. The exclamation point would be a legendary dunk from Jordan.
Jordan would work the baseline, go around John Starks and Charles Oakley, then slam the ball down over the desperation leap of Patrick Ewing, whom he’d get the better of throughout their NBA careers.
Jordan would finish with 33 points, seven assists and six steals in the series-clinching win.
1. March 28, 1995: The Double Nickel
In his fifth game back from his first retirement, Jordan showed that he still had his old touch, going for 55 points on 21-of-37 shooting. But this game would be won on a pass and not a shot. Jordan's second assist of the game set up Bill Wennington's only hoop -- a dunk in the closing seconds that provided the Bulls with the winning margin in a 113-111 victory.