Bulls

A timeline of Tim Duncan's career against the Bulls

A timeline of Tim Duncan's career against the Bulls

Tim Duncan announced his retirement on Monday after 19 seasons in the NBA. The future first ballot Hall of Famer will go down as perhaps the greatest power forward of all-time, winning five NBA titles and being named to 15 All-Star Games.

The Big Fundamental had plenty of accomplishments and milestones against the Bulls, who he faced 34 times. From 1997 to 2016, here's a timeline of some of Duncan's most memorable games against the Bulls.

November 3, 1997: Duncan made his first real headlines as a professional in the third game of his NBA career, a tilt against Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Though Chicago escaped with a four-point win in double overtime, Duncan was exceptional in the loss, scoring 19 points and matching Dennis Rodman with 22 rebounds. A Michael Jordan triple to end regulation pushed the game to overtime, with the Bulls eventually coming out on top. And despite the loss, it was a sign that Duncan, David Robinson and the Spurs were for real, taking the defending champs to the brink at the United Center. The Spurs went on to win 56 games, and would win the NBA Finals the following year.

November 26, 1999: The day after Thanksgiving, Duncan put on a masterful performance against another No. 1 overall pick. Facing rookie Elton Brand, Duncan matched a career-high with eight blocks in addition to his 23 points and 10 rebounds. Brand would later join Duncan in the Rookie of the Year fraternity, and he held his own against the defending champion with 24 points and six rebounds. But Duncan got the last laugh in their first meeting, a 23-point victory for the Spurs. A month later Duncan continued his terror on the Bulls, scoring 25 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

March 14, 2002: Duncan put together a classic Duncan line in his meeting with the Bulls in 2002. The forward went for 24 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and four blocks in 40 minutes. Those numbers may seem typical for him, but consider this: Duncan first accomplished that line or better on December 30, 1999. Since then, 16+ years, that line has been put together 33 different times. Of the 34 times a player has reached those thresholds, Duncan is responsible for 11 of them. Next closest is Shaquille O'Neal, who accomplished it 10 times in that span. To put the finishing touches on the performance and the win, Duncan made 12 of 13 free throws to make up for his 6 of 14 shooting from the field.

March 4, 2005: The Spurs needed all 31 points from Tim Duncan to avoid a disastrous home loss to the Bulls. Duncan scored 31 points, the most he would ever score against a Chicago team, including an 18-footer with 38 seconds remaining. He then hit two free throws the next trip down to put away the victory for the Spurs. San Antonio had such a big lead in the second half because of Duncan, who scored 17 points in the second quarter alone, nearly topping the Bulls' 20 as a team. He also made all seven of his free throws. Duncan and the Spurs went on to win the third of their five titles that summer.

November 7, 2005: Three years later Duncan accomplished an even more impressive feat in the Spurs' overtime victory over the Bulls. In 40 minutes, Timmy finished with 24 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and six blocks. He also shot 60 percent from the field (12-for-20) and made all six of his free throws. That line, combined with 60 percent shooting, has only been accomplished one other time in the 11 seasons since Duncan did it: Marcus Camby, a year later, with Denver. Duncan made his only shot attempt and grabbed three rebounds in overtime to lead the Spurs.

November 27, 2008: Duncan welcomed another Bulls' No. 1 overall pick to the NBA with a great performance, scoring 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting in the first half of the Spurs' win. Duncan only shot twice in the second half as the Spurs pulled away. Rose struggled in his first contest against Pop's Spurs, managing 10 points and six assists in 40 minutes.

November 18, 2010: It was just another day at the office for Duncan, who scored 16 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and handed out five assists in just 34 minutes. The Spurs won by nine, but the game was more notable for Duncan in that he tied David Robinson for most career games in Spurs history (987). Duncan, of course, blew by that total and finished his career having played in 1,392 games, more than 300 more than Tony Parker behind him.

March 8, 2015: Duncan won't want to remember this one, but it was a notable mark in his career. Duncan went 0-for-8 from the field in the Spurs' win, marking the first time in 1,310 games he had failed to record a made field goal. He managed eight rebounds, three assists and a block, and was a +7 in the 11-point win. In classic Timmy fashion, he responded two nights later with a double-double in a win over the Raptors.

March 10, 2016: In what would be Duncan's final game against the Bulls, the big man grabbed his 15,000th rebound midway through the first quarter. Duncan became the sixth player in league history to reach that milestone, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone, all NBA Hall of Famers and all-time greats. His 10.8 rebounds per game rank 22th all-time, sandwiched between Shaquille O'Neal (10.9) and teammate David Robinson (10.6). Duncan finished with just 7 points and 3 rebounds, but the Spurs got the win and Duncan added another feather to his cap.

Lauri Markkanen nearly 'Finnishes' in Skills Challenge against former Bull Spencer Dinwiddie

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USA TODAY

Lauri Markkanen nearly 'Finnishes' in Skills Challenge against former Bull Spencer Dinwiddie

Los Angeles—Lauri Markkanen called himself “The Finnisher” when asked what the movie of his life would be called.

Apparently, that moniker didn’t apply to the All-Star Skills challenge as he took down the best big men but couldn’t close against a former Bull, Spencer Dinwiddie, in the final.

The contest highlights players’ ability to dribble around cones shaped like NBA logos, throwing a chest pass into a net while having to complete a layup and then 3-pointer before their opponent does.

Markkanen took down Detroit’s Andre Drummond and Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid before facing off with Dinwiddie. He held a pose after hitting a triple to beat the uber confident Embiid, in what will likely be used as a memorable gif following the weekend.

His confidence doesn’t come across as blatantly as Embiid’s, but that snapshot shows he’s no humble star in the making. He didn’t even practice for the contest, by his own admission.

“I heard some of the guys did,” Markkanen said. “I didn’t do much, just before the competition, I did a little warm-up.”

Missing on the first pass attempt into the circular net in the final, it gave Dinwiddie the advantage he wouldn’t relinquish, hitting on his second 3-point attempt before Markkanen could make it downcourt to contest.

“It’s a lot harder than I’ve seen,” Markkanen said. “I thought it was gonna be super easy but it was kind of tough. Maybe I need to hold my follow through (on the pass).”

“I saw he missed (the first shot) and I started going. I thought he would’ve missed it too. I think I would’ve gotten it on the third shot.”

Being one of the multi-dimensional big men in today’s game who can be adept on the perimeter as well as the interior, it almost seems like the contest was made for Markkanen. Although he doesn’t do much handling in Fred Hoiberg’s offense, it’s clearly a skill he will develop as time goes on.

The last two winners of the skills challenge were Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis, and Markkanen was well aware of the recent trend.

“The last two years the bigs have won,” Markkanen said. “I’m kind of pissed that I couldn’t keep the streak going after (those two). I think there’s a lot of guys who can do that now, it’s why they changed the format to bigs versus smalls.”

For Dinwiddie, who was discarded by the Bulls last season after a promising start in the preseason so they could pick up R.J. Hunter, he’s taken advantage of an opportunity with Brooklyn.

“I think for Chicago it was just another series of unfortunate events,” he said. “They were in win-now mode. I was an unproven guard on a non-guaranteed contract and they felt Michael Carter-Williams gave them a better shot to win.”

Michael Jordan's Greatest Moments: 5-1

Michael Jordan's Greatest Moments: 5-1

This is part of a four-part series looking back at the historic career of Michael Jordan and the legacy he left on the game of basketball. It all leads up to Saturday when we unveil his top 5 moments on his 55th birthday. Here are 55-4544-23, and 22-6.

5. Jordan wins fourth title and finishes greatest individual season ever, June 16, 1996

It’s hard to comprehend just how much Jordan accomplished during the 1995-96 season. We’ll try:He won his fourth championship, was named NBA Finals MVP for a record fourth time, won All-Star Game MVP, won a record 72 games, was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, was the league’s leading scorer and became the Bulls’ all-time leader in games played. So when he dropped a casual 22 points in Game 6, it marked the end of one of the greatest seasons in NBA history. Oh, and Space Jam came out a few months later.
 
4. Jordan hits six triples, scores 35 points in first half against Blazers, June 3, 1992

During the 1991-92 regular season, Jordan never made more than three 3-pointers in a single game. In fact, the most 3-pointers he had in any two-game stretch that year was four. So when he began burying triple after triple in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, even Jordan couldn’t believe it, giving a shrug toward the NBC announcers as if to say, “I don’t know, either.” Jordan finished the first half with six triples and scored an NBA-record 35 points. The Bulls cruised in the second half, so Jordan finished with only 39, but his shrug remains one of the most iconic NBA Finals moments in history.
 
3. Jordan battles the flu, scores 38 in Game 5 on his way to fifth title, June 11, 1997

The Flu Game. Jordan was battling a nasty illness in the lead-up to a pivotal Game 5 in Utah, and there were concerns about whether he would even suit up. Hours before tip Jordan got out of bed and made his way to the arena, looking to halt Utah’s momentum after it had taken Games 3 and 4 to tie the series. The Jazz came out red-hot while Jordan looked sluggish, but he responded with 17 points in the second quarter alone to give the Bulls a halftime lead. Jordan then keyed a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to erase a Jazz lead, and he hit a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to give the Bulls a three-point lead. The Bulls hung on, and Jordan collapsed into Scottie Pippen’s arms walking off the floor. His final line? 38 points, 13 of 27 shooting, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Two days later the Bulls won the title in front of a sellout Chicago crowd.

2. Jordan scores 63 points against Celtics in playoff loss, April 20, 1986

Jordan had just turned 23 years old when he took to the Boston Garden floor to face Larry Bird in his prime and the Celtics. These Celtics had gone 40-1 at home, led the NBA in field goal percentage defense, started FOUR future Hall of Famers and had a fifth come off the bench. They would ultimately go down as one of the all-time greatest teams, and Jordan made them look absolutely silly. He played 50 minutes in the double-overtime thriller, shooting 22 of 41 from the field and making 19 of 21 free throws, including the last two with no time on the clock and the Bulls trailing by two at the end of regulation. He scored 54 in regulation, added five in the first overtime and four in the second. He also led the Bulls with six assists. It still stands as the NBA record for most points in any playoff game. Twenty-three years old. Twenty. Three.

1. Jordan scores 45 in final game with the Bulls, securing sixth championship, June 14, 1998

Jordan’s final game with the Bulls was iconic. Like so many of these moments, die hards know exactly where they were. The 45 points were majestic, and while he only had one rebound and one assist he affected just about every possession on both ends. But what we’ll remember most is the final 37 seconds. Jordan drove to the basket for layup that cut Utah’s lead to one, then stripped Karl Malone from behind on the next trip down. That gave the ball back to the Bulls with 20 seconds left. Jordan let the clock tick down to around 9 seconds before making his move from the left wing, driving right on Bryon Russell, (maybe pushing off) and pulling up for a jumper at the foul line. The shot was good with 5.2 seconds remaining, and John Stockton’s ensuing 3-pointer was off the mark. It gave Jordan and the Bulls their sixth NBA title, and marked the perfect ending to his Bulls career: getting it done on both ends, in the clutch, and finishing with a victory. Because it encapsulated so much of his 14-year career in Chicago, it’s our top Michael Jordan moment.