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Today in Sports History: 4/21 – 1996 Chicago Bulls Finish With a 72-10 Record

Today in sports history (1996), the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, set the highest win total in an NBA season, at 72. The Bulls finished with a 72-10 overall record. The previous record-holder for best regular season win percentage was the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. That team was famously comprised of Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Gail Goodrich.

Since the Bulls went 72-10, the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors broke their record, going 73-9. Though Jordan, Pippen and Rodman were the focal points of the team, the Bulls featured many other lethal players. Luc Longley, Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper and Steve Kerr were all key contributors to the record-breaking team.

Chicago Bulls Sports History
Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

1996 Chicago Bulls Record Best Regular Season in NBA History

The Bulls started the season winning five games in a row, before dropping one to the Magic. They then ripped off another five wins before losing to the eventual Western Conference winners, the Seattle SuperSonics.

Michael Jordan and the Bulls then went on a 13-game win streak, which was not even their longest win streak of the season. Starting December 29 and ending February 4, Chicago won 18 games in a row. After their 18-game win streak, the Bulls stood at 41-4. They inexplicably lost two games in a row to Denver and Phoenix. On April 16, the Bulls hit the 70-win mark in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Finally, they capped off the 72-win season with a win against Washington.

The Bulls rolled through the NBA Playoffs, only losing one game in the Eastern Conference before meeting up with the aforementioned SuperSonics. Chicago won the first three games before Seattle battled back in the series and eventually went down to Jordan and company in six. This gave both Jordan and the Bulls their fourth championship victory.

Jordan led the Bulls in scoring, with 30.4 points per game. Pippen added another 19.4 points. The Bulls finished the season scoring 105.2 points per game and giving up 92.9 points per game. With a team led by Jordan and having the second-best regular season of all time, many believe that this is the greatest NBA team of all time.

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