Bulls complete their drive for five


Frozen moment: Kerr keeps his promise

This is no time to break up the Bulls

Bulls buzz: Chicago spells relief W-I-N

Jazz buzz: Running the gamut of emotions

X-factor: Bulls post another title


Game 6 shot charts

Pregame notebook

NBA Finals page


Michael Jordan says the team should remain intact.
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Jordan felt an obligation to win another title.
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Jordan has a special gift for Scottie Pippen.
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Pippen wants this group to make its mark on history.
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Steve Kerr knew he'd have a chance to win the game.
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Jordan says the Bulls climbed a mountain.
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Karl Malone puts the loss in perspective.
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Malone credits Chicago for a hard-fought series.
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Phil Jackson explains why Jordan is a champ.
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Jackson praises his team's defense.
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Jerry Sloan says Utah missed too many shots.
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Box score | Game recap | Game flow

CHICAGO -- Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls staked their claim to the best basketball dynasty in the past 30 years, rallying in the fourth quarter to defeat the Utah Jazz 90-86 and win the NBA championship on Friday.

The Bulls have won five championships in the past seven years, surpassing the five in nine years won by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s.

Since the inception of the shot clock in 1954, only the Boston Celtics -- who won eight consecutive titles from 1959 to 1966 -- have had a stronger hold on the championship.

"We knew we had to struggle for it," Bulls coach Phil Jackson said. "It was a very bumpy road through the championship. I only want to say our two captains (Jordan and Scottie Pippen) stepped up and showed the way. I can't say enough about their leadership, especially tonight."

The Bulls closed out the gutty Jazz in six games. Jordan had 39 points and 11 rebounds Friday and was named Most Valuable Player of the Finals for the fifth time.

"When it gets to six it's going to be bigger," Jordan said of the championship run. "They just keep getting bigger and bigger as we keep winning and winning.

Crunch-time champs: Chicago outscored Utah 26-16 in the fourth quarter. Michael Jordan and Steve Kerr combined for seven of the Bulls' 10 baskets in the final period; Utah's entire team only had five.

Return to sender: Karl Malone's nightmarish free-throw shooting reached a new low. The Mailman made only 7 of 15 from the line, including 4 of 11 in the first half.

"Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, Bryon Russell came in and they gave us a run for our money. But we persevered and I'm happy to be at this podium and just knowing that we're the champions for the fifth time."

As in 1992 against Portland, the Bulls overcame a fourth-quarter deficit. As in 1993 against Phoenix, when John Paxson was the hero, it was someone other than Jordan who provided the game-winning shot -- Steve Kerr, who took a pass from a double-teamed Jordan and made a tie-breaking 16-footer with five seconds left.

"When Phil drew up the play at the end -- which everybody in the gym, everybody on TV knew was coming to me -- I looked at Steve and said, 'This is your chance, because I know Stockton is going to come over and help and I'm going to come to you,'" Jordan said. "Tonight, Steve Kerr earned his wings."

"(Jordan) said, 'You be ready. Stockton is going to come off you,'" Kerr said. "I said, 'I'll be ready. I'll knock it down.'

shot chart
Jazz rookie Shandon Anderson missed several shots from point-blank range in the fourth quarter, one on a blown goaltending call. Click here for complete shot charts of Game 6.

"He's so good that he draws so much attention," Kerr said of Jordan. "And his excellence gave me the chance to hit the game-winning shot in the NBA Finals. What a thrill. I owe him everything."

A cross-court inbounds pass was stolen by Pippen, who found Toni Kukoc for a dunk that touched off the celebration.

Jordan and Jackson had a long hug, perhaps for the last time. Their contracts have expired and there have been rumors the Bulls will replace Jackson. Jordan has made it clear he won't play if Jackson doesn't return.

"I'm not trying to twist (owner) Jerry Reinsdorf's arm," Jordan said. "It sounds like it. But I'd like to see us defend what we have ... which is a championship team. I think we're entitled to defend what we have and Phil should be the coach."

He averaged 32.3 points in the Finals and outplayed Malone, who edged Jordan for the regular-season MVP award.

"He's the greatest player I've ever seen play," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said of Jordan. "He's such a great player and he's such a great competitor. He has an unbelievable will to want to win this game. And I think that's just terrific for basketball."

Malone had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz, who lost three games by a combined eight points in their first Finals appearance.

Michael Jordan weaves through the defense of Jeff Hornacek and Bryon Russell.

"That's what eats everyone up," Hornacek said. "Four of them were very close. We won one and lost three of those. That really eats at you. With a turn here or there, it's us winning it, not them."

"I just never got into a rhythm," said Malone. "I didn't really play well the whole series. What else can you say?"

Utah led nearly the entire game but blew a nine-point lead early in the fourth quarter and went scoreless over the final 1:44.

"They seemed to make the plays that carry you down the stretch," Sloan said. "But I thought our people played hard. I was proud of the way they came out tried to compete against this team."

Three free throws by Stockton opened the fourth quarter and gave the Jazz a 73-64 lead before the Bulls woke up while Jordan was on the bench.

Chicago scored 10 unanswered points to take the lead for the first time since midway through the first quarter. Pippen made two free throws, Kerr made a jumper and each made a 3-pointer to give Chicago a 74-73 edge with 8:54 left.

A 3-pointer by Hornacek and an inside score by Shandon Anderson around a swooping layup by Jordan gave Utah an 81-78 lead with 6:03 left. But Kukoc scored from the post and Jordan made two jumpers as Chicago forged ahead 84-81 with 3:45 remaining.

Malone and Jordan traded jumpers and Russell's 3-pointer tied the score for the last time at 86-86 with 1:44 remaining. Each team missed twice, with Anderson blowing a wide-open layup with 28 seconds left, setting up Kerr's shot.

shot chart
Michael Jordan got free in the paint during the third quarter, when Chicago began to creep back into the game.

"I penetrated and tried to dribble around Pippen," Anderson said. "I knew with his long arms, he could block my shot. I just put up the shot too hard and missed it.

"This is Game 6 of the NBA Finals. You have to finish it. I am a rookie and I didn't expect to get a call for a foul."

Kerr scored seven of his nine points in the fourth quarter for the Bulls, who held a 50-36 rebounding advantage to overcome 38 percent shooting. Pippen had 23 points and nine rebounds and Kukoc added nine points.

Hornacek scored 19 points and Russell added 17, including five 3-pointers. Stockton was somewhat contained and finished with 13 points and five assists for Utah.

Both teams started terribly, managing just a basket apiece in the first 4½ minutes.

Led by seven points by Hornacek, the Jazz opened a 23-17 lead after one quarter. The Bulls shot 32 percent (six for 19) in the quarter but stayed close behind Pippen, who had eight points and five rebounds.

Utah led 44-37 at halftime. The Bulls shot just 34 percent (11 for 32) in the first half, but they stayed in the game by making 13 of 16 free throws.

Michael Jordan applies defensive pressure to Karl Malone.

Utah was just 12 of 22 from the line in the first half, as Malone made only four of his 11 attempts.

Jordan, who had 12 points in the second quarter, started quickly in the third period. Malone scored Utah's first six points, but Jordan scored eight of Chicago's first 10, including a soaring drive that closed the deficit to three points, 48-45, with 8:26 to play.

Stockton took a give-and-go feed from Malone for a layup and Hornacek made a jumper, rebuilding the lead to seven points. It went back and forth until a three-point play by Pippen made it 64-60 with 1:43 remaining in the quarter.

The Jazz went on a run behind Howard Eisley, who dribbled through pressure and found Russell for a 3-pointer, then made a tough layup in traffic to boost the lead to 70-61.

Jud Buechler hit a 3-pointer before the end of the quarter, cutting Chicago's deficit to six points, 70-64, entering the fourth period.

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