“Michael Jordan dropped 30+ on Larry Bird 24 times but lost 23 times?”: How the Bulls couldn’t seem to string together wins against the Celtics despite having ‘His Airness’

Samir Mehdi
|Published April 12, 2022

Michael Jordan went off against Larry Bird and the Celtics on numerous occasions but has a losing record against them. 

Michael Jordan worked his way to the top like no other superstar in the league. Having lost in the Playoffs 5 consecutive seasons, inching closer to the NBA Finals in each season, Jordan and his Chicago Bulls knew what it took to go up against the best of the best. 

The first team to truly but the Bulls through the blender, prior to the Detroit Pistons from 1988-1990, were the Boston Celtics. Led by 3x MVP, Larry Bird, the ‘86 and ‘87 Celtics were some of the strongest iterations of the team in franchise history.

Also read: “Michael Jordan is the Best Scorer in NBA history over Kevin Durant”: Stephen A. Smith says mentality is the factor why he keeps His Airness over The Slim Reaper

The 1986 Playoffs featured the famed first round series between the Bulls and the Celtics which saw Michael Jordan drop 63 points on the Finals hopefuls Game 2, eventually losing in OT to the battle-tested squad from New England. 

The Bulls would get swept in 1986 and history would repeat itself the next year in ‘87 where the Celtics would win 0-3 against Jordan and company in the first round. 

Michael Jordan vs Larry Bird, head to head in the regular season. 

Given that they both played in the Eastern Conference, Michael Jordan would have to face off against Larry Bird much more than any superstars on the West Coast. When it comes to a Playoff record between the two, MJ is sadly 0-6 against the Indiana State alum.

Also read: “Screaming for another human is sort of waste, I won’t miss that”: When Michael Jordan made it clear he wouldn’t ever look back at his career and miss the screams and cheers from fans

The regular season however, saw MJ lose to Bird and his Celtics a whopping 17 times, winning only 11 of their match-ups against one another from November 15th, 1984-March 11th, 1992. 

Jordan drop 30+ points a total of 24 times on a Bird led team, including the Playoffs with some of his point totals being 63, 49, 52, 50, 48, 44, 41, 41, 39, and so on.  

While Jordan did win a decent amount against a historically stacked team with the likes of Robert Parish and Kevin McHale, it’s safe to say that MJ couldn’t conquer the Celtics like he did historically great teams. 

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About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi is an NBA Editor at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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