Watching the Chicago Bulls play on Christmas used to be a holiday tradition. The Bulls were featured on December 25th SEVEN times in the 1990s and went 7-0.
Yesterday, last year's MVP Derrick Rose led a spirited comeback to nip the Los Angeles Lakers and start what could be another dominant decade for the men in red on Christmas. Below, we revisit the top five most memorable Christmas Day wins in Chicago Bulls history.
#5 - 1993
Some rookie named Shaquille O'Neal scored 20 points and hauled in 11 rebounds as the Bulls held off an Orlando Magic team on the rise in their first Christmas Day game post-Michael Jordan Era, part I.
#4 - 1996
The Bulls coming off of an NBA record 72-win season. Facing Grant Hill in his prime. Squaring off against former coach Doug Collins. This one had all of the makings.
Scottie Pippen scored a team-high 27 points and Dennis Rodman hauled in a game-high 22 rebounds as the Bulls won their 18th straight game against the Pistons and improved to 25-3 on the season. The Bulls would go on to win 69 total games in 1996-97 and their 5th NBA title.
#3 - 1994
The first Christmas Day game in United Center history pitted the Jordan-less Bulls against a Knicks team that had defeated the Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals before losing the NBA title to the Houston Rockets.
Scottie Pippen was Mr. Everything, and despite a flukish last-second, game-tying three-pointer from Hubert Davis in regulation, the Bulls held off the Knicks 107-104 in overtime.
#2 - 1992
MJ, MJ, MJ. Fresh off of the Bulls' second NBA title, Michael Jordan put in one of the most dominant performances in Christmas Day history with a 42-point, 8-rebound, 5-assist day in an 89-77 Bulls victory.
They would three-peat (for the first time) the following June, defeating the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals.
#1 - 1990
Coming off of three straight conference championships, the "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons had a big target on their back heading into Chicago Stadium on Christmas Day of 1990. The Jordan-led Bulls, with something to prove, got 37 points from their superstar and fired a warning shot towards their rivals from the east, winning 98-86.
Was it a changing of the guard? Maybe not...was Phil Jackson ready to become his era's most prolific head coach in that cheesy bow tie?
At the very least, it was a portent of things to come, as Chicago swept Detroit in the conference finals en route to its first of six NBA titles in the 1990s. And that's why this is the most memorable Christmas Day win in Bulls' history.
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