The Boston Celtics 62-20 coached by former Celtic defensive star K. C. Jones with general manager Red Auerbach faced the Los Angeles Lakers 54-28 coached by Pat Riley and with general manager Jerry West in the 1984 NBA Championship Series.
All four of those coaches and executives would be inducted into the NBA Basketball Hall of Fame.
The Celtics were led by Larry Bird 24.2 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, 6.6 assists per game, Robert Parish 19.0 ppg, 10.6 rpg, Dennis Johnson 13.4 ppg, 4.2 apg, Kevin McHale 18.4 ppg, 7.4 rpg and Cedric Maxwell with 11.9 ppg and Gerald Henderson averaging 11.6 ppg.
The Lakers were led in scoring by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 21.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, Magic Johnson 17.6 ppg, 13.1 apg, 7.3 rpg, Jamaal Wilkes 21.5 ppg, and James Worthy 14.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg. Bob McAdoo added 13.1 ppg and young Byron Scott who would play a key role on later Laker teams scored 10.6 ppg.
The series opened in the Boston Gardens with its parquet floor and the Lakers got off to fast start and led 34-22 after the first quarter and held on for a 115-109 road victory. Abdul-Jabbar led them in scoring with 32 points and James Worthy had 20 while the Celtics were led by sixth man Kevin McHale with 25 points and Larry Bird with 24 although he was only 7 of 17 in field goal attempts and Dennis Johnson with 23 points but made only seven of twenty from the field.
Game two still in Boston proved to be a pivotal game in the series as the Celtics got out to a 36-26 first quarter advantage but the Lakers came back to hold a 113-111lead with the ball and eighteen seconds left in the game. Gerald Henderson however intercepted a pass in the back court and scored to send the game intoovertime and the Celtics pulled out a 124-121 victory to tie the series at one game each.
James worthy led LA with 29 points and Magic Johnsons added 27 while Larry bird led Bostonwith 27 points and 13 rebounds as eight Celtic players scored in double figures.
The teamsswitched to the Forum in LA and the Lakers blew out the Celtics 137-104 with the help of a 47 point third quarter. Abdul-Jabbar led with 24 points and Bob McAdoo added 21 while Larry Bird had 30 for Boston and the Lakers go up two games to one.
Game four, still at the Forum, was another overtime game, with Boston outscoring LA 16-12 in the overtime period to win 129-125 with Larry Bird leading the Celtics with 28 points and 21 rebounds while Dennis Johnson added 22 points and Robert Parish 25. LA was led in scoring by KareemAbdul-Jabbar with 32, James Worthy had 30 and Magic Johnson had 20 points 17 assists and 11 rebounds as the Celtics even the series at two games each.
Game five was in Boston and after a close first half the Celtics pulled away in the second half for a 121-103 win to take a three games to two lead in the series. Larry Bird scored 34 points and pulled down 17 rebounds and Dennis Johnson added 22 points while the Lakers were led by James Worthy with 22 points and the series goes to LA for game six.
The Celtics lead for the first three quarters but the Lakers went on a 36-21 run in the fourth quarter to win the game 119-108 with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leading with 30 points and10 rebounds and Magic Johnson adding 21 points and 10 assists. James Worthy had 20 points and Micheal Cooper had 23 for the Lakers as they tie the series 3-3 and to set up the seventh game in Boston.
Larry bird had 28 points and 14 rebounds, Dennis Johnson had 20 points and Gerald Henderson added 22 for the Celtics.
Game seven was a close game but the Celtics built up a big enough margin in the second and third quarters to win the game 111-102 and the title. Cedric Maxwell led Boston with 24 points while Dennis Johnsonhad 22 points and Larry Bird added 20 points and 12 rebounds and Robert Parish had 16 rebounds for the Celtics.
For LA Abdul-Jabbar had 29 points, James Worthy 21 and Magic Johnson had 15 assists. For LA it was a series they thought they should have won, especially considering game two but Larry Bird got the series MVP and the two teams returned the next year to the finals.
Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate