We continue our “23 days of Raptors history” with one of the largest NBA upsets of all-time, as the expansion Toronto Raptors upset the 72 win Chicago Bulls.
By record, it is the biggest upset in NBA history. The expansion Toronto Raptors somehow beat the most accomplished team of all-time, the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls.
Coming into the game, the Chicago Bulls were 60-7 and winners of seven straight. The Raptors, meanwhile, were 16-47 and losers of seven straight.
So how did the Raptors pull out a victory? An amazing shooting night, an unbelievable rookie performance, and perhaps a bit of alcohol from the Bulls the night prior.
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Shooting the lights out:
During the 1995-1996 season, the Raptors shot 35-percent from three and made only five threes per game. Yes, as a team, they averaged only five threes per game.
Against Chicago that night, you would’ve thought Toronto was one of the game’s all-time great shooting teams. The Raptors hit 11 of their 17 three-point attempts, a remarkable 65-percent.
Meanwhile, Chicago was one of the best shooting teams in the league at 40-percent. Yet, Toronto was able to hold them to just 6-of-18 shooting.
Damon Stoudamire goes nuts:
The man known as “mighty mouse” sure had a superhuman performance that Sunday afternoon. Stoudamire dropped 30 points,11 assists, and four rebounds on the Chicago Bulls, while going a ludicrous six-of-eight from three-point range.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Stoudamire’s performance is his 46 minutes played. He and Tracy Murray combined for a total of three minutes of rest, as Toronto elected to play only seven players the entire game.
Chicago hit too many shots the night before
The “South beach flu” has always had an impact on more games than the NBA would like to admit. Well, Toronto is a fun city to go out in as well, and Tracy Murray admits to watching a couple of the Chicago Bulls stay out late the night before.
"“They were out there until five in the morning but that’s the type of city Toronto is. It’s a city where you want to get out and get into it and really see what’s going on. We used that to our advantage.”"
Combine a raging hangover with a record-breaking crowd of 36,131 people and you are likely to have an off-game.
Regardless of the circumstances, it’s a game that will live in Raptors history, an improbable win against an all-time great team.
Checkout day six of the 23 days of Raptors history tomorrow when we look back at the Raptors decision to draft/trade for Vince Carter.