With the NBA, MLB, NHL and other major sports leagues and sporting events suspended or canceled, on a daily basis, we will revisit some of the most unforgettable games and sports moments in history. Welcome to On This Day.
With certain athletes, sometimes you just know you’re watching something special.
Michael Jordan is that athlete.
In 1984-85, Jordan’s rookie season, he walked into the NBA and averaged 28.2 points, quickly putting the world on notice that he was a force to be reckoned with.
And in his second season, Jordan and the Bulls qualified for the Eastern Conference playoffs as the 8-seed.
It was at that point that he took it to another level – a level that still hasn’t been reached.
On April 20, 1986, in only his second career playoff game, Jordan scored 63 points against the Boston Celtics in Boston Garden.
To this day, it remains the highest single-game point total in an NBA playoff game in league history.
In fact, the record-setting outburst made the great Larry Bird concede that Jordan was simply a cut above the competition.
Larry Bird was in disbelief of MJ during their 1986 playoff series pic.twitter.com/bxXMQRsyX6
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 20, 2020
What might be most impressive about Jordan’s performance is that he didn’t attempt a single three. He shot 22 of 41 from the field and made 19 of 21 free throws.
On top of the 63 points, he recorded 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 53 minutes.
The Bulls lost in double overtime.
His Game 2 performance was so awe-inspiring that people forget about his Game 1 performance, in which he scored 49 points in 43 minutes – again, without shooting a single three.
Michael Jordan broke his foot in the 3rd game of his second season.
He returned in March & averaged 29.2 PTS, 4.4 REB, 4.4 AST, 2.2 STL, 1.2 BLK in the last 5 games.
This is what he did in the Playoffs vs the Celtics
49 PTS (18-36 FG)
63 PTS (22-41 FG)
19 PTS, 10 REB, 9 AST pic.twitter.com/QjO7xMwkh8
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 16, 2020
The Celtics would sweep the Bulls in three games, but it didn’t much matter.
Jordan had arrived.