- 1984 NBA Finals
NBA Finals summary
year = 1984
Los Angeles Lakers
runnerup_games = 3
champion_games = 4
May 27- June 12
television = CBS (U.S.)
Dick Stocktonand Tom Heinsohn
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar(1995) Larry Bird(1998) Magic Johnson(2002) Bob McAdoo(2000) Kevin McHale(1999) Robert Parish(2003) James Worthy(2003)
K.C. Jones (1989, player)
Pat Riley (2008)
referees_2 = Jack Madden and
Darrell Garretsonand Jess Kersey
referees_5 = Game 5: Hugh Evans and
referees_6 = Game 6: Jack Madden and
referees_7 = Game 7:
Darrell Garretsonand Earl Strom
ECF result = Celtics defeat Bucks, 4-1
WCF result = Lakers defeat Suns, 4-2
The 1984 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the
1983-84 NBA season. In 1984, the Boston Celticsdefeated the Los Angeles Lakersin a seven-game Finals, winning Game 7 111-102. Larry Birdaveraged 27 points and 14 rebounds a game during the series, earning the award of Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP). Bird was also named the league regular season MVP for that year.
This series was the long-awaited rematch of the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics after their rivalry was revived in 1979 with the
Magic Johnson- Larry Birdpair entering the league. The Lakers almost swept the Celtics but a crucial steal in Game 2 led to a tie game and the Celtics were able to win in overtime to tie the series. The Lakers won Game 3 easily and almost won Game 4, but were again thwarted. Now tied 2-2, the Lakers and Celtics each held serve at their home court to send the series to Boston for Game 7. Game 5 was a classic, with Bird coming up with a huge game in one of the (literally) hottest games ever in non-air conditioned Boston Garden. Game 7 was a close game but eventually went to the Celtics. Cedric Maxwellscored 24 points against the Los Angeles Lakers in the decisive Game 7 victory. The 1984 championship series was the most watched in NBA history, with soaring TV ratings. All the playoff action were documented on the 1984 NBA Season documentary "Pride and Passion", narrated by Dick Stockton.
Finals Series Summary
"Boston beats Los Angeles 4-3"
The Lakers opened the series with a 115-109 victory at
In Game 2, the Lakers led 113-111 with 18 seconds left when
Gerald Hendersonstole a James Worthypass to score a game tying layup. The Lakers then inbounded the ball and Magic Johnson inexplicably dribbled the clock out during regulation time. The Celtics eventually prevailed in overtime 124-121.
In Game 3, the Lakers raced to an easy 137-104 victory as
Magic Johnsondished out 21 assists. After the game, Larry Birdsaid his team played like "sissies" in an attempt to light a fire under his teammates. It was Boston's worst playoff defeat in franchise history.
In Game 4, the Lakers had a five point game lead with less than a minute to play, but made several execution errors, including
Magic Johnson's bad pass to Robert Parishlate in the 4th quarter as the Celtics tied the game and then came away with a 129-125 victory in overtime. Johnson was infamously called "Tragic Johnson" by Celtics fans due to the two crucial errors he committed in Game 4 (the Parish steal, followed by two botched free throws in OT). Larry Birdcame up with a crucial jumper with less than a minute in overtime, then M.L. Carrstole James Worthy's inbounds pass followed by a dunk to seal the win. The game was also marked by Celtic forward Kevin McHale's takedown of Laker forward Kurt Rambison a breakaway layup which triggered the physical aspect of the rivalry. Larry Birdwould go after Kareem Abdul-Jabbarlater on in the third quarter, and 1981 Finals MVP Cedric Maxwellfurther antagonized the Lakers by following a missed James Worthyfree throw by crossing the lane with his hands around his own neck, symbolizing that Worthy was "choking" under pressure. Also, Bird pushed Michael Cooperto the baseline following the inbound play during the second quarter.
In Game 5, the Celtics took a 3-2 series lead with a 121-103 victory, as
Larry Birdscored 34 points. The game was known as the "Heat Game", as it was played under 97-degree heat, and without any air conditioning, at Boston Garden. The Celtics did not warm up with their sweat pants on because of extreme heat, and oxygen tanks were provided to give air to exhausted players.
In Game 6, the Lakers evened the series with a 119-108 victory. In the game the Lakers answered the Celtics' rough tactics when Laker forward
James Worthyshoved Cedric Maxwellinto a basket support. After the game a Laker fan threw a beer at Celtics guard M.L. Carras he left the floor, causing him to label the series "all-out-war."
In Game 7, the heat that was an issue in Game 5 was not so bad (indoor temperatures hovered around 91 degrees during the game, due to additional fans being brought in to try to cool the air). The Celtics were led by Cedric Maxwell who had 24 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as they came away with a 111-102 victory. In the game the Lakers rallied from a 14-point-deficit to three with one minute remaining when Cedric Maxwell knocked the ball away from Magic Johnson.
Dennis Johnsonresponded by sinking two free throws to seal the victory. Larry Birdwas named MVP of the series.
The series was the eighth time in NBA history that the Celtics and Lakers met in the NBA finals, with Boston winning each time.
Quote From The Finals
"And it goes quickly in now to Magic, back over to Worthy and it's picked off! Goes to Henderson and he lays it up and in!! It's all tied up! A great play by Henderson!!" -
Johnny Mostdescribing Gerald Henderson's steal in Game 2.
"For a minute I could hear Johnny Most going, "Henderson steals the ball!"" - Gerald Henderson during a post-game interview following Game 2.
"We've got some great players on this team, but we don't have the players with the heart sometimes that we need. And today, when you see Magic slapping high-fives and his guys throwing behind-the-back passes and shooting lay-ups on us all day long, it seems that someone would try to play stop on defense and, until we get our hearts where they belong, well, we're in trouble." -
Larry Birdcommenting on his infamous "Celtics play like sissies" comment following Game 3.
"The Boston Celtics are the NBA World Champions, in a grueling, seven-game series over the Los Angeles Lakers." -
Dick Stocktonafter Game 7 of the finals.
"It feels great, whatever happened to the Los Angeles dynasty? You guys are talking about a dynasty, there it is (the O'Brien Trophy) right there, that's the dynasty. We're the best team in the world right now, the best out there." -
Red Auerbachduring the championship celebrations with Brent Musburgerafter Game 7.
1984 NBA Playoffs
* [http://www.nba.com/history/finals/19831984.html NBA History]
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