“I think,” Larry Bird said after the game, “it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
Jordan was able to play in only 18 regular-season games in his second year in the NBA, after breaking a small bone in his foot in Chicago Bulls third game of the year. Although he was encouraged to sit out the end of the season in order to make sure he was fully healed for the next, he insisted on coming back late in the season and led the Bulls to the 1986 NBA Playoffs.
It was in Game 2 of Chicago’s first round matchup against the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics that Jordan showed just how thoroughly he had recovered. In the hallowed halls of the Boston Garden, he set a playoff record by scoring an amazing 63 points against what many considered to be one of the greatest NBA teams ever. The Celtics won the game, 135-131 in double-overtime, and went on to sweep the Bulls, but Jordan’s playoff record still stands.
“It was a phenomenal performance, what Michael was able to do against a team like that,” Bill Walton said of the champion Celtics, who won 67 games and were a record 40-1 at home; with five of their top six players Hall of Famers. “That team could win any type of game, a speed game, a power game, a shooting game, a defensive game, a physical game, a cerebral game. It had balance, depth and talent, coaching experience, great leadership, top management with Red Auerbach, a great legacy as a franchise on top and a legend in Larry Bird.”