You know you are witnessing greatness when the bench of a losing team “celebrates” like Kent Bazemore while an opposing player is torching their teammates. That opposing player was Larry Bird and the Bazemores I’m referring to are Scott Hastings, Tree Rollins, Eddie Johnson and Cliff Levingston of the 1985 Atlanta Hawks. They were all also reportedly fined by Hawks coach Mike Fratello for their “unacceptable” bench behavior.
I know you aren’t supposed to celebrate the way they did but unless you were a Lakers fan, it was hard not to be a Bird fan in the final minutes of games, especially when he started trash talking and calling his shots to defenders and the opposing bench players.
During the week before this game, Kevin McHale was the team’s dominant scorer, torching the Knicks for 42 after scoring a franchise-record 56 against the Pistons. Combine that along with a match-up against the up-and-coming star and “future rival” Dominique Wilkins, you just knew Bird was going to have a statement game on this night. And that statement came in the form of 60 points (including the final 16 for the Celtics) on 22-of-36 from the field and 15-of-16 from the line.
The most shocking stat from this game is he only made one 3-pointer. A very memorable three-pointer! Just ask the Scott Hastings, Tree Rollins, Eddie Johnson, and Cliff Levingston.