Watch The Shot Here
May 7th, 1989, Game 5, Richfield Coliseum, series tied at two games a piece, this was their moment. Despite Michael Jordan’s 50 point performance in game four, the Cavs still managed to pull off the overtime victory to bring the series back home to Cleveland for one final crack at the Bulls. The Cavs had dominated the Bulls all season, going 6-0 against them, and the Bulls had injuries to Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and Craig Hodges. Both of these team were going to be forces in the upcoming future, but this bout would be the first in their historic, and lopsided rivalry.
Going into the Sunday night matchup, the Cavs seemed quite disjointed. Marc Price couldn’t seem to get over his recent groin injury, and Brad Daugherty looked like a lost puppy, playing nowhere near his regular season self. But, due to Daugherty’s clutch free throws, the Cavs survived in Chicago, and gave themselves one last shot to move on to New York to face the Knicks.
The first half of Game 5 worked out well for the Cavs: they had good control of the tempo, Jordan “only” had 14 points, and most importantly, Cleveland had a 48-46 lead. By the third quarter, everyone knew that Craig Ehlo was getting the hot hand off the bench. He was getting solid minutes, and he was making shot after shot. The only problem, so was Jordan.
Although the Cavs had an almost double digit lead, the Bulls battled back and managed to find themselves only down one point with ten seconds to play. Jordan had the ball at the top of the key, and pulled up in front of Larry Nance, giving the Bulls a late 99-98 lead. This lead didn’t last though, Ehlo inbounded the ball to Nance, then Ehlo cut to the basket, caught Nance’s bounce pass and layed it in for two, giving Cleveland a 100-99 lead!
Image: (The NY Times)
All the Cavs had to do was stop Jordan one more time… but MJ had other plans. With Nance fronting him, Jordan did all he could to break free catching the inbounds with three ticks on the clock. It took him two dribbles to get into the key, he pulled up over Ehlo’s out stretching hand, and the rest is history.
This is the first article of our weekly series, Mess up Monday where we go back in time to some of the worst moments in Cleveland sports history.
As Always, Go Cavs!
Follow the Writer: @drew_thirion
Featured Image: (Obsessive Sneaker Disorder)