Neither Michael Jordan nor Scottie Pippen ignited the rally that propelled the Chicago Bulls to victory Wednesday. Instead, it was Toni Kukoc who took over.
Kukoc’s fourth-quarter effort lifted the Chicago Bulls to a tense 107-90 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics in Game 1 of the National Basketball Association Finals at the United Center.
If this game is indicative of what the series will hold, it will be much more competitive than most people expected. The SuperSonics played step for step with the Bulls three quarters, forcing the Bulls to find resourceful ways to win.
Then Kukoc, making 12 of his 18 points in a blistering stretch in the fourth quarter, finally put away the tenacious Sonics. And though Chicago pushed its winning bulge to 17 points by game’s end, there is no one in the Bulls locker room who does not believe now that the team is facing a serious opponent.