Michael Jordan and the Bulls embarrassed the Boston Celtics and Larry Bird made sure he didn’t forget
Michael Jordan was not quite Michael Jordan at the time, but his Chicago Bulls still managed to embarrass Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics on December 22, 1984. Jordan scored 32 points and the Bulls gave the Celtics their worst loss of the season. , 110-85. In the end, the Bulls bragged and Bird, who finished with 10 points, never forgot.
Michael Jordan eclipsed Larry Bird in their second NBA game against each other
Bird was at the peak of his career on December 22, 1984, while Jordan was a newcomer to his rookie season. The Celtics had just won their second title of the decade, and Bird was in the middle of a three-season MVP streak. Earlier in the year, the Celtics crushed the Bulls in Chicago, winning 125-105.
Boston entered the second game of the season against the Bulls with a 23-4 record. The Bulls were 14-14.
Jordan and the Bulls dominated from the start. They held a 52-37 lead at halftime and led 84-58 after three quarters. Jordan made 12 of 18 shots and scored 32 points in 35 minutes. He added 12 rebounds and eight assists.
Meanwhile, Bird had a terrible performance. He collected 10 points in 32 minutes. He missed 11 of his 14 shots from the ground.
Larry Bird and the Celtics sent a clear message to Michael Jordan and the Bulls
When the Celtics and Bulls met for the third time, this time in Boston, things were a little different. Bird and the Celtics remembered being humiliated and also remembered the Bulls jubilant after their December victory. Although the game was close, Bird took the lead in a 111-108 win. After the match, he recalled the previous outing.
“They can’t say it right now without going out and proving it,” Bird said, according to United Press International, after scoring 28 points, including six in stride to seal the deal.
Bird was determined to help get this one out. He blocked two reverse layups from Jordan in the dying minutes. Then he stole one of his passes.
Jordan knew his team may have pushed the bear at their previous meeting, but said the Bulls weren’t intimidated.
“We don’t have the right to create animosity with the world champions,” Jordan said after the game. “We are a young team trying to get to where it is. We had our chances, but we weren’t intimidated.
“They have arrogance as a team, not as individuals, and that will help them,” said Celtics coach KC Jones of the Bulls.
Bird and Celtics reached NBA Finals
The Celtics and Bulls both qualified for the playoffs that year, but had very different results.
Boston finished the season 63-19 and passed the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers to meet the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals for the second straight season.
The Lakers eliminated the Celtics in six games.
The Bulls finished 38-44 but managed to make their way to the playoffs. They were beaten 3-1 in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Bird and Jordan both earned major end-of-year honors.
Jordan was named Rookie of the Year, while Bird won the MVP title.
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