The 1998 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1998 playoffs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Finish of the 1997--98 NBA season.
The Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls played against the Western Conference champion Utah Jazz, together with all the Jazz holding home-court advantage together 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 2 for their third consecutive NBA title and their sixth in eight seasons. Michael Jordan was voted the NBA Finals MVP of this series (he had won the award the last five times 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 complete basketball seasons. Until 2014, it had been the final successive Finals rematch between two groups.
The 1998 Finals garnered the highest 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 tournament around than of Major League Baseball's championship round.
Until 2012, this has been the latest final played completely out Texas and California.
The show marked the first time since 1989 that the exact same two teams met in the Finals in consecutive years. The Jazz earned the league's best record by virtue of crossing the two-game regular season series with the Bulls despite the two teams ending 62 wins. In the playoffs, the Jazz were pushed to the brink by the Houston Rockets before winning Game 5 in Utah, and then overcame Rookie of the Year Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs 4--1 ). They then swept the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals. The Bulls swept the New Jersey Nets and subsequently took the Charlotte Hornets in five, but it took seven matches to conquer the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
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