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This day in sports: Chicago Bulls win their first NBA championship

Michael Jordan celebrates with his father in the locker room after the Chicago Bulls won Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals.
Michael Jordan celebrates with his father, James, in the locker room after the Chicago Bulls won Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals against the Lakers at the Forum in Inglewood.
(Andrew D. Bernstein / Getty Images)

The Chicago Bulls won the first NBA championship in the team’s 25-year history on this date in 1991 when Michael Jordan scored 30 points to lead them to a 108-101 victory in Game 5 over a depleted Lakers team at the Forum.

The Lakers started rookies Elden Campbell and Tony Smith because they were without James Worthy and Byron Scott. Campbell and Smith, who had played a total of eight minutes in the series, combined for 33 points.

“I just told them to have some fun,” Magic Johnson said. “We just didn’t have quite enough fun like [the Bulls] are having now.”

Jordan was named the series’ most valuable player.

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The coronavirus pandemic has scuttled the sports calendar, but here’s a look at what was supposed to happen -- and has happened -- on this date.

The Dodgers were to continue a six-game trip on Friday with the first of three games against the Braves in Atlanta. The Angels would have opened a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium. Both games were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1930 — Max Schmeling beats Jack Sharkey for the vacant heavyweight title at Yankee Stadium in New York when Sharkey is disqualified in the fourth round for throwing a low blow. The German becomes the first European heavyweight world champion.

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1948 — Citation, with Eddie Arcaro up, wins the Belmont Stakes and the Triple Crown with an eight-length victory over Better Self. It’s Arcaro’s second Triple Crown after he rides Whirlaway in 1941. Citation ties Count Fleet’s Belmont Stakes record time of 2:28 1/5 for the mile and a half.

1948 — Ben Hogan beats Jimmy Demaret by two shots to win the U.S. Open with a record four-round total of 276 at Riviera Country Club. It is Hogan’s third victory in 18 months at the Pacific Palisades course, which becomes known as “Hogan’s Alley.” His score is five shots lower than Ralph Guldahl’s 1937 Open record and he is the first player since Gene Sarazen in 1922 to win both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in the same year.

1981 — Larry Holmes knocks out Leon Spinks in the third round to retain his World Boxing Council heavyweight title in Detroit. Holmes, in the 10th defense of his title, lands a barrage of punches and the fight is stopped at 2:34 when Spinks’ corner throws in the towel.

2005 — Annika Sorenstam closes with a one-over-par 73 for a three-shot victory over Michelle Wie at Bulle Rock Golf Club at Havre de Grace, Md., to win her third straight LPGA Championship. The 15-year-old Wie shoots a 69 to finish second. It’s the highest finish by an amateur in a major since Jenny Chuasiriporn, 20, lost in a playoff to Se Ri Pak of South Korea in the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open.

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2011 — The Dallas Mavericks win their first championship when they take Game 6 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat 105-95 at American Airlines Arena in Miami. Jason Terry scores 27 points and Dirk Nowitzki adds 21 as the Mavericks win four of the series’ last five games. LeBron James leads the Heat with 21 points followed by Chris Bosh with 19.

Height and size mattered to the Lakers on this date in 1973 when they selected seven players in the NBA draft, five of whom are in the giant class.

2016 — Sidney Crosby sets up Kris Letang’s go-ahead goal midway through the second period and the Pittsburgh Penguins win their fourth Stanley Cup, and first since 2009, by defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-1 in Game 6 at SAP Center in San Jose.

2016 — In a battle of teenagers, Brooke Henderson, 18, of Canada beats top-ranked Lydia Ko, 19, with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club at Sammamish, Wash. Henderson overcomes a three-shot deficit on the back nine and wins when Ko misses her birdie putt from 15 feet.

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2017 — Kevin Durant caps his spectacular first season with the Golden State Warriors with an NBA championship. Durant scores 39 points in a 129-120 victory over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The Warriors never trailed after going on a 15-0 run in the second quarter to turn a deficit into a double-digit lead. Stephen Curry contributes 34 points and 10 assists for Golden State.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press


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