[QUOTEIn the 33 Finals since the merger, this was the single best performance by a player whose team didn't win the series. Facing elimination, on the road, against one of the greatest teams of all time, Malone provided one glaring counterpoint to his less-than-scintillating playoff résumé by single-handedly dominating the Bulls.
Single-covered by all-world defender Dennis Rodman for much of the night, Malone converted an endless procession of mid-range turnaround jumpers from the left side (one of the most difficult shots in the game). Malone finished with 39 points on 17-of-27 shooting, added nine rebounds and five assists and had just one turnover.][/quote]
I was @ the United Center for game 5 of the '98 Finals, where the Bulls lackluster play coming sluggish out the gate, Kukoc (the king of inconsistent) being the only one who didn't treat the game like it had already been won before tip off.
And Malone came out and handed us our ass. Mailman delivered that day. It was actually a pretty clutch game on his part. For all his failures elsewhere, he balled HARD in the last two games. Specifically the 39/9/5 game. He shot the ball extremely well, hit countless wet jumpers on us. It was madness.
On a personal level, completely ruined my opportunity of seeing MJ and the '90s Bulls win their final ring with the Bulls on his home court, to close out the 90's decade. The end of a dynasty a dream in person, unfulfilled. Had to wait to see MJ's ICONIC game 6 in Utah for them to close out.