The career of Larry Bird is full of impressive accomplishments: Back-to-back-to-back NBA MVP awards from 1984 to 1986, three NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVP awards, 12 NBA-All Star appearances, NBA Coach of the Year in 1998, and NBA Executive of the Year in 2012.
However, despite all of these accolades, one of Bird’s most impressive performances came on a quiet, Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 14, 1986.
Two nights before a matchup with the rival Los Angeles Lakers, Bird decided to play with his off, left hand for the majority of the game against the Blazers. His reason why? “I’m saving my right hand for the Lakers.”
Bird scored 10 of his 21 field goals against Portland with his left hand, and finished the game with 47 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. The Celtics won the game 120-119 in overtime.
Two nights later, Bird finished with 22 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists in the Celtics’ 105-99 win over the Lakers in L.A.
The Celtics went on to win the NBA championship that season, with Bird leading the way for his second NBA Finals MVP award.