This weekend 35 years ago – Sonics and Affirmed

19 May

The year was 1978 – the third weekend in May.

A special time for sports fans in Seattle and horse racing on the national scene.

Affirmed headlineOn that Saturday (May 20, 1978), Kentucky Derby winner Affirmed, with Steve Cauthen in the irons, held off Alydar to win the Preakness Stakes.

Three weeks later Affirmed would win the Belmont Stakes and become the 11th Triple Crown winner. That would be the last Triple Crown as Orb went down to defeat yesterday at Pimlico as the big favorite.

Affirmed story

The next day, May 21, 1978, the Seattle SuperSonics hosted the Washington Bullets in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Championship seriesThe game started at noon and was played in front of a sell-out crowd of 14,098 at the Seattle Coliseum.

Boom

The Sonics rallied from a 19-point deficit in the final 14 minutes to stun the Bullets 106-102 for their 21st straight home-court triumph.

Downtown Freddie Brown led the Sonics with 30 points, including the final two baskets for the home team. Seattle outscored Washington 33-18 in the final stanza.

Game 2 would be played in Landover, Md. four days later (Thursday).

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