NBA.com takes a look back at the top moments that define the history of the NBA.
On April 20, 1986, inside Boston Garden, Michael Jordan put on an unforgettable show.
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’s 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 playoffs in 1986.
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.
“Michael was doing so much and so well, I found myself just wanting to stop and watch him — and I was playing,” said teammate John Paxson.
“I didn’t think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done to us,” marveled Celtics ace Larry Bird. “He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”