On June 3, 1986, the Boston Celtics took a 3-1 series lead over the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals with a Game 4 road win at The Summit. It was a thrilling, back-and-forth affair that included 14 lead changes.
(You can watch Game 4 of the 1986 NBA Finals here.)
The Celtics and Rockets were tied late in the fourth quarter when a 3-pointer by Larry Bird put the Celtics ahead 104-101. Bill Walton’s offensive rebound and layup with 1:39 remaining essentially sealed the 106-103 win for Boston.
Bird nearly tallied a triple-double, scoring 21 points with 10 assists and nine rebounds. Dennis Johnson and Robert Parish led the Celtics with 22 points apiece. Kevin McHale chipped in 19 points and nine rebounds.
The Rockets, with Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon healthy, were 44-3 at home entering Game 4. That record included an 8-0 mark at home during the playoffs going into Game 4.
The Celtics lost Game 5 in Houston before blowing out the Rockets back at the old Boston Garden in Game 6 to win their 16th championship.
Game 4 was the pivotal win of the series for the Celtics, making June 3 a memorable date for the franchise.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports
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