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1998 NBA Finals

The 1998 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1998 playoffs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the conclusion of the 1997—98 NBA season.

The Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls played against the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz, with all the Jazz holding home-court advantage with the first 2 games in Salt Lake City. In a replica of the previous year’s Finals, the Bulls won the series 4 games to two for their third consecutive NBA title and their sixth in eight seasons. Michael Jordan was voted the NBA Finals MVP of the series (he had won the award the past five occasions the Bulls won the Finals: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, and 1997). This could be his sixth NBA championship and sixth Finals MVP award in six full basketball seasons. Until 2014, it was the last consecutive Finals rematch between two teams.
The 1998 Finals garnered the greatest Nielsen TV ratings in NBA history at 18.7, and also surpassed the Nielsen ratings for the 1998 World Series, marking the first time the NBA had a higher rating in its own championship round compared to Major League Baseball’s championship round.
Until 2012, this was the latest closing played entirely outside Texas and California.
The show marked the first time since 1989 the exact same two teams met in the Finals in consecutive years. The Jazz earned the league’s best album by virtue of crossing the two-game regular season series with the Bulls despite both teams finishing 62 wins. In the playoffs, the Celtics had been pushed to the brink by the Houston Rockets before winning Game 5 at Utah, and then overcame Rookie of the Year Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs 4—1. Then they swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Bulls swept the New Jersey Nets and then took the Charlotte Hornets in five, but it took seven matches to overcome the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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