The 1985 NBA Finals:5 Highlights

The 1985 NBA Finals featured far more than 5 highlights.  This series was a rematch between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Celtics had defeated the Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals in Boston in an epic seven games. The 1985 season saw both the Celtics and the Lakers finish with over 60 wins.  Here are the top 5 highlights of the 1985 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics had the best record in the league while the Lakers had the second best record.  They were destined to clash once more in the NBA Finals.  Now, here are the top five highlights of the 1985 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers:

  1. D.J's Big Shot.  Although, the Celtics would go on to lose the series to the Lakers in six games, the Celtics' point guard, Dennis Johnson gets the top highlight of the 1985 NBA Finals.  With six seconds left in Game Four, the Celtics had the ball with the game tied at 105.  The Celtics were down two to one in the series and still had one more game left in Los Angeles.  They needed to take Game Four to stay in the series. Bird kicks the ball to D.J. with two seconds. D.J takes a twenty footer and swishes it as time expires.
  2. The Memorial Day Massacre.  The two Celtics wins in the 1985 NBA Finals give us the top two highlights.  In Game One of the series, the Celtics blew the Lakers out in the Boston Garden.  The final score was 148-114 in favor of the Celtics.  It seemed as though the Celtics may take it to the Lakers and perhaps repeat as champions.  However, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar apologized for his performance in the game and vowed to improve. This was very likely the turning point of the entire series.
  3. Magic Steal and Dunk.  In Game Three of the 1985 NBA Finals, the Lakers were looking to push their advantage as the series was tied one to one and the next three games would be in Los Angeles.  After the Celtics jumped out to an early lead, the Lakers stormed back.  As the Lakers roared back to take the lead and eventually the game, Magic Johnson featured prominently in the sequence (of course.)  After a Bird miss, Magic pushed the ball coast to coast down the floor but missed a layup.  Kevin McHale grabbed the rebound, but Magic snuck back from the baseline and stole the ball from McHale.  Magic then turned on a dime and performed a gliding one-handed dunk right on Danny Ainge.  Magic ran back down the floor pushing McHale to run faster. This helped the Lakers take two to one lead in the series.
  4. Magic Steal and Dish.  In Game Two of the 1985 NBA Finals, after Kevin McHale intercepted Magic Johnson's lob attempt to James Worthy, Magic returned the favor by reading McHale's outlet pass to Danny Ainge and stealing the ball right back.  Magic then froze McHale in  the paint by driving to the basket only to dish the ball to James Worthy at the last minute.  Worthy dunked the ball emphatically and the Lakers won the game.
  5. Kareem's Coast to Coast. After pledging to improve his play following the Memorial Day Massacre in Game One, Kareem went on to have an outstanding NBA Finals.  In Game Six of the series, Kareem grabbed a rebound and, showing young legs, drove the ball down the court himself and swished his patented sky hook.  Kareem was awarded the MVP Award of the 1985 NBA Finals.


Those are the top five highlights of the 1985 NBA Finals, where the Lakers defeated the Celtics four to two.  This the second meeting of the two storied franchises in the NBA Finals during the 1980's. The rubber match was still to come in the 1987 NBA Finals.