The rollercoaster NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers heads back to Quicken Loans Arena for Game 6 tomorrow, the Warriors in front 3-2.
Throwback Thursday takes a trip down memory lane to one of the great Finals Game 6s, the 1993 cliff-hanger that delivered the Chicago Bulls their three-peat with victory over the luckless Phoenix Suns.
The Bulls surged to a 2-0 lead in the series with a pair of away wins, but the Suns – in just their second NBA Finals, and their first since 1976 – bounced back with a triple-overtime victory in Game 3 in Chicago. The Bulls won Game 4 by six points, before the Charles Barkley-led Suns kept the Finals alive with a 10-point success in Game 6.
Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Bulls arrived to a hostile welcome in Phoenix, but the two-time champs led by nine at the end of the first quarter. The Suns trimmed the deficit to five at the half, but went into the final term eight points down.
After earlier holding a double-digit lead, however, Chicago fell behind 98-94 with less than 40 seconds on the clock. But a Jordan lay-up, followed by a miss by Phoneix’s Dan Majerle, set the scene for veteran point guard John Paxson, who buried a 25-foot three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left.
The Suns’ desperate last-gasp play came up empty.
The Bulls had become the first team to win three straight championships since the legendary Boston Celtics side of the 1960s. The incomparable Jordan became the first player to win three straight Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards.
The championship-less Phoenix Suns have not returned to the NBA Finals since.
Scottie Pippen: 32 pts, 13 rebs e 7 asts
Michael Jordan: 30 pts, 10 asts e 4 rebs
JOHN PAXSON 20 pts (9-12 FG) pic.twitter.com/ZYBh5Rw5ce
— Blog Paixão NBA (@paixaonba) June 12, 2016