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Filling the Void: 45 goes for 55

Did you remember Michael Jordan’s “double nickel” game against the Knicks was his fifth game back from retirement? Me neither!

Filling the Void: 45 goes for 55

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Having a hard time with this whole “social distancing” thing? Yeah – us too. Especially when it comes to the lack of sports. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease the pain and suffering. While we may not have any of the current sports leagues to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconic, noteworthy and remarkable sporting events we could find. We also found some mundane, run of the mill matches and contests, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles sports, right? Each day, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.

My memory failed me again

As we have covered, I don’t have a great recollection of mid 90’s Bulls games.

Look, I knew Michael Jordan had a lot of big games and big moments. I just forgot any of them came during his half season in 1995.

That’s why when I was looking at the list of potential games for the Filling the Void series, I was shocked when I saw Jordan dropped 55 points in his FIFTH game back!

I guess I probably should have payed better attention to “The Last Dance”.

To reiterate, Michael Jordan played in a NBA Finals game on June 20th, 1993. He did not play in another competitive NBA game until March 19th, 1995. In his fourth game back, he hit a game winner vs. the Atlanta Hawks.

In his fifth game back, he scored 55 points against the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.

It was the most points scored in the 1994-95 season and was the most points scored at MSG by an opposing player.

At this point, LeBron’s best chance to getting back into the GOAT argument is if “Space Jam 2” wins a fucking Oscar.

Historical Perspective

The NBA is obviously a different game now vs. 1995, but I still want to compare the two because I am having fun.

To get to 55 points, Jordan did the following:

  • 18 of 33 (55%) two-pointers for 36 points
  • 3 of 4 (75%) three-pointers for 9 points
  • 10 of 11 (91%) free throws for 10 points

Here’s how James Harden scored 61 points vs. the Knicks in Madison Square Garden on January 23rd, 2019:

  • 12 of 18 (67%) two-pointers for 24 points
  • 5 of 20 (25%) three-pointers for 15 points
  • 22 of 25 (88%) free throws for 22 points

It is definitely impressive to hit 67% of 18 shots. It also sounds like a nightmare going to a game and seeing the away team’s superstar take 25 free throws, miss 15 three-pointers and score the most points in a game that season.

The poor Knicks

I’m not someone who normally defends or feels sorry for New York sports fans. And let me be clear, peak Nomar is a better player than peak Jeter. It’s not close.

Having said that, this game just makes me feel really sad for Knicks fans.

When Jordan leaves in 1993, they likely thought their time had arrived. They lose in the Finals to the Houston Rockets in 1994, but the following season are again looking at a Jordan-less East.

Then Jordan comes back!

And not only does he come back, in his FIFTH game back (did I mention this was the fifth game Jordan had played upon un-retiring?) he scores the most points by an opposing player ever in THEIR building!

The Knicks would go on that season to lose to the Pacers in the playoffs in the famous Reggie Miller-Spike Lee series, but I think the Ewing-era Knicks were over after this game.

And you could probably make the case the Knicks as a franchise were over after this game.


If you want to re-watch this game without knowing what happens stop reading now.

Ok, the winning play of this game is so beautiful it deserves to be in a museum we can all visit without masks in 2022.

Jordan gets the ball because of course he does. The Knicks double team him because of course they should.

Jordan has two assists total in this game, but one comes right then when he passes to a wide-open Bill Wennington with 3 seconds left for the game-winning dunk.

Wennington also scored two points total in this game.

These poor Knicks.

Terry is from Massachusetts and is a passionate fan of the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins. He also will admit he only pays attention to Syracuse basketball when they're good. If there's a Twitter trade rumor even remotely associated with one of his teams, he's likely fallen for it. Finally, he believes 100% that if the Celtics had beaten the Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals they would have swept the Thunder in the Finals.

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