Celtics’ legend Larry Bird recalls the moment when he knew he could win the game, and subsequently, the Championship over the Lakers
When thinking of the best athletes in the NBA, the Celtics legend might not come into a lot of people’s minds but while talking about all-time greats, he’s up there, on Mount Rushmore.
He could take the game or even a series over from a team that was on the cusp of winning. One such match-up was when Boston Celtics were playing LA Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals.
It was Game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals, Boston Celtics against the Los Angeles Lakers. Lakers were leading 2-1, dominating all 3 of those games, but thanks to Celtics point guard Gerald Henderson Boston stole the crucial Game 2.
Larry Bird saw Magic Johnson and decided to shoot over him
It was a massacre in Game-3 where the Lakers won 137-104. After that game, Larry Legend took over. Bird had been frustrated by the resilient defense of Michael Cooper throughout the series.
However, with 16 seconds left in overtime during the crucial Game 4 in LA, it was Magic Johnson guarding Larry. Bird saw the matchup and knew victory was his. He drilled a jumper, guiding the Celtics to a 129-125 victory to get the series even.
“Michael Cooper fell down in the lane,” Bird said, “then it got a little helter-skelter. But as soon as I got Magic (Johnson) in the post, I knew I could shoot over him.”
Bird’s basket led to the Celtics’ four-point win, reclaiming homecourt advantage for Boston. He then led Boston to a 4-3 series victory to claim the title and the Finals MVP, averaging 27.5 points, 11 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks.