Chapter 19: 63 points at the Boston garden
After missing 64 games with a broken left foot, Jordan could not wait to get back to playing basketball and winning games. He rejoined the Bulls for the last 15 games of the season. The Bulls managed to get into the playoffs despite a 30-52 regular season record. However, standing before them was the best team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics lead by Larry Bird.
The 1986 Boston Celtics team is considered to be among the greatest basketball teams ever assembled. Coached by K.C. Jones, the Celtics boasted a starting lineup of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Danny Ainge, and Dennis Johnson. (Bill Walton was not a starter but was a crucial part of the team) They finished the season with an incredible 67-15 regular season record, and an even more impressive 40-1 record at the Boston Garden. Chicago had their work cut out for them and were heavy underdogs. But Michael Jordan, like he would do again and again, made sure that he did not disappoint the fans.
Jordan’s scored 20 points in his only game against the Celtics that year, and he would far eclipse that mark in just the first half of game 1. Jordan was spectacular that game, scoring 49 points against the best defense in the NBA.
Here are the Jordan baskets and highlights from that game.
A rare interview with Michael before game 2.
The Celtics didn’t seem to know what to do to stop Michael Jordan from doing whatever he wanted on the basketball court, which led to their utter embarrassment in game 2, where Jordan scored a still standing playoff record of 63 points at the garden.
Here again are the Jordan baskets and highlights from that game.
If you want to watch the entire game, go here.
After this game, Larry Bird uttered the now famous line “That’s not Michael Jordan, that’s God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
Despite their best efforts, the Bulls would be swept by the eventual NBA champions in 3 games. However, Jordan gave the NBA fans one of the most memorable series in playoff history. He averaged an incredible 43.7 points in the 3 games, and set a NBA record that has still not been broken.