1991 NBA Championship Series – Bulls and Lakers

Led by Micheal Jordan the Chicago Bulls 61-21 coached by Phil Jackson with Jerry Krause as executive reached the NBA finals for the first time in team history and moved through the playoffs, sweeping the world champion Detroit Pistons in the eastern conference finals.

They were led by Jordan 31.5 points per game, 5.5 assists per game, 6.0 rebounds per game, Scottie Pippen 17.8 ppg, 6.2 apg, 7.3 rpg, Horace Grant 12.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg, and Bill Cartwright 6.2 rpg.

The Lakers 58-24 hada new coach as Mike Dunleavy had replaced Pat Riley and Jerry West was the team’s executive. They were led by Magic Johnson 19.4ppg, 12.8apg, 7.0 rpg, James worthy 21.4 ppg, Sam Perkins 13.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg, Byron Scott 14.5 ppg, Vlade Divac 11.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, and A. C. Green 6.3 rpg.

Game one took place in Chicago Stadium in Chicago with the Lakers leading after three quarters 75-68 but the Bulls led late in the fourth quarter 91-89 when according to Wikipedia Sam Perkins made a three pointer for LA to put them up 92-91 and Byron Scott added a free throw and the Lakers win game one 93-91 and have 1-0 lead in the series.

Still in Chicago in game two the Bulls get their first finals victory with a strong third quarter, outscoring LA 38-26 for a 107-86 win to tie the series at one game each.

Micheal Jordan with 33 points and 13 assists, Scottie Pippen with 20 points and 10 assists and Horace Grant with 20 points led Chicago while Magic Johnson had 10 assists and James Worthy 24 points for LA.

Game three in LA was a close game in which according to Wikipedia the Lakers led 92-90 until Micheal Jordan scored with 3.4 seconds left in the game to tie it up and send it into overtime in which the Bulls outscored the Lakers 12-4 with Micheal Jordan scoring half of the Chicago’s overtime points for a 104-96 win to go up two games to one in the series.

Jordan led Chicago with 29 points, Scottie Pippen had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Horace Grant had 22 points and 11 rebounds in a game in which Chicago outrebounded LA 46-29.

Sam Perkins led the Lakers with 25 points and Magic Johnson had 22 points and 10 rebounds.

In game four still in LA the Lakers made only 36.6% of their field goals in a 97-82 Bulls victory and Chicago led three games to one in the series. Micheal Jordan had 28 points and 13 assists for Chicago while Vlade Divac led LA with 27 points and 11 rebounds, Magic Johnson had 22 points and Sam Perkins had 10 rebounds.

Game five was in LA and with Micheal Jordan and Scottie Pippen both playing all 48 minutes of the game, the Bulls won the game 108-101 and their first of six championships in the 1990’s. Pippen had 32 points and 13 rebounds and Jordan who won the first of his six series MVP awards had 30 points and 10 assists while Dayton native John Paxson had 20 points.

For the Lakers Magic Johnson who also played all 48 minutes of the game, had16 points, 20 assists and 11 rebounds and Sam Perkins added 22 points.

The Bulls would be back the following year while the Lakers returned in 2000.

It was the last finals game for Magic Johnson as due to illness he would retire for four years and play one season in 1995-96 as a power forward before turning to business where he became successful as an entrepreneur.

At 6’ 9” he was one of the best point guards ever as he could post up shorter guards as well as rebound and dish out assists.

Basketball-reference.com was used for the statistics in this article.

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By Ron Griffitts

Contributing Columnist

Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate