NBA Greatest Moments: Michael Jordan Scores 63 Points Against Boston in 1986

NBA Greatest Moments: Michael Jordan Scores 63 Points Against Boston in 1986

Michael Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984, the third overall pick behind Hakeem Olajuwon, who went to the Houston Rockets, and Sam Bowie, who joined the Portland Trail Blazers. Jordan quickly established himself as a star in the NBA. He was named the league’s Rookie of the Year and led the Bulls in scoring, assists, rebounding and steals. The Bulls made it to the playoffs that year but lost to the Milwaukee Bucks. Jordan had to sit out much of his second season due to a broken foot; however, he returned in time to join his team in the playoffs.

On April 20, 1986, in Game 2 of the first-round series against the Celtics, Jordan scored his legendary 63 points, and he did so at the age of 23. That is still a playoff record.

In the game, Jordan was 22/41 overall, did not attempt a three-pointer, and made 19 of his 21 free throws. However, his performance wasn’t enough as the Bulls lost the game 135-131. The Celtics went on to sweep the Bulls in that series. The Celtics went 67-15 that season and went on to win the NBA title. That team featured five future Hall of Famers (Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish, and Bill Walton).

The Celtics’ star forward Larry Bird said about Jordan’s performance: “I didn’t think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done to us.” He was so thrilled about the Jordan that he also commented: “I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan. He is the most awesome player in the NBA. Today in Boston Garden, on national TV, in the playoffs, he put on one of the greatest shows of all time. I couldn’t believe anybody could do that against the Boston Celtics.”