The 1986 Team had Problems with Athletic Opponents, Too

December 6, 1985

The Portland Trail Blazers trashed the Celtics 121-103 at Boston Garden last night because Dr. Jack Ramsay's Flying Burrito Brothers could do no wrong. Steve Colter was Norm Van Lier, Jerome Kersey was Elgin Baylor, and Sam Bowie was Nate Thurmond. The men in the red shoes ran the Celtics off the floor in the first five minutes. Bowie, Mychal Thompson, Clyde Drexler (19) and Jim Paxson forced a flurry of Boston turnovers and beat the green team down the floor for layups and dunks as the visitors bolted to an 18-7 lead.

En route to a 10-13 second half, Kersey, who averages 11 minutes and 5.7 points destroyed the Celtics. While Bird looked at the bottoms of Kersey's red shoes, the second-year sub led the Blazers to a quarter-closing 11-2 run. It got worse. Kersey kept connecting and a fastbreak follow-up slam by Bowie gave Portland a 97-83 lead with 8:36 left. Then Bowie dunked on an alley-oop from Colter and it was 99-83. "They had 14 offensive rebounds and I think all of them must have been dunks," sighed Ainge.

Robert Parish stood still for the fourth straight game, Bill Walton (2 points, 3 rebounds, 5 turnovers) was worse, and Bird's brick-tossing turned the area under the hoop into a hard-hat zone. Dennis Johnson fouled out in 23 minutes.

Read More the first Boston-Portland Game in 1986.

In the little-remembered rematch in Portland, it took a triple-double from Bird (47, 14, & 11), which included a 14-footer in the closing moments, for the Celtics to pull out a 120-119 victory.

Read More about the rematch.


The Kid said...

Mychal Thompson was the only player in the league who could guard McHale.

Lex said...


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