11.03.2014

It Takes a Village: Henderson, Wedman, and Parish



May 31, 1984

Game 2 was scheduled for Thursday night, May 31. For the next four days, the Celtics told reporters to ask coach K.C. Jones about matchups. Jones then said he was pretty sure he would continue to let the Lakers decide who would guard whom.

The fire alarm went off in the Lakers' hotel at least 10 times.

The Globe reported that Celtics center Robert Parish had received shoulder massages from Scott Wedman's therapist shortly before Game 2. The therapist apparently indicated to Parish he wasn't physically ready to play. Parish hadn't told the Celtics his shoulder was sore. K.C. Jones closed practices to the media. The Celtics announced no unauthorized persons would be allowed in the lockerroom before the game.

The experts wondered if the Lakers would be as ready after a four-day rest as they were after no rest.

Jack Nicholson flew to Boston to see the game.

The Celtics earned a 13-point lead in the first half. The Lakers' 13-2 second-quarter run made it 61-59, Boston, at halftime. That's all you'll want to remember about the first half.

The Celtics built it back to 76-69 in the third quarter, and LA's 11-2 run gave it an 85-82 lead.

Celtic forward Kevin McHale missed two free throws that could have tied it with 20 seconds left. Laker coach Pat Riley called timeout to think about things like fundamentals, such as not lobbing a pass across your own backcourt in the final seconds of a close championship playoff game. Laker guard Magic Johnson (27 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists) inbounded to James Worthy (29 points on 11-of-12). Boston forward Cedric Maxwell (16 points, 12 rebounds) guarded Johnson. That was OK. Laker guard Byron Scott was open across their backcourt. Worthy lobbed a pass to him.

"No question I was thinking steal in that situation," said Celtic guard Gerald Henderson.

We take you to Johnny Most, wearing the white tux: ". . . Henderson! . . . Henderson stole the ball! Henderson stole the ball!"

And drove for the layin. 113-113. But the Lakers had the last shot.

Correction - they would have had the last shot if Magic Johnson (a/k/a Derek Harper) hadn't allowed the clock to run out before passing to Bob McAdoo.

We rejoin the game with 45 seconds left in OT, the Lakers ahead by one.

LA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar missed a skyhook (he was 9 of 22 for 20), and Worthy committed a non-shooting foul while trying to rebound.

Timeout, Boston, 25 seconds left.

Larry Bird (27 points, 13 rebounds) inbounded at midcourt. The ball returned to him right of the key. He passed out top to Henderson. Who passed to Wedman in the corner . . . 13 feet . . . good!

"If the opportunity comes," said Wedman, "you've got to want the shot."

Timeout, LA, trailing 122-121, 14 seconds left.

LA inbounded from midcourt, and Parish knocked the ball from Abdul-Jabbar. Maxwell wound up with it in the corner and threw it to Bird, who caught it as he fell under the Laker basket. The ball bounced off his foot and out of bounds.

Another Laker inbound. McAdoo had the ball on the baseline.

One more time: "Parish . . . Parish stole the ball! Parish stole the ball!"

(We didn't hear Johnny Most say it this time, but this is probably accurate.)

Parish had just reached in and flicked the ball away from McAdoo. Bird caught it - and held it - and was fouled. His two free throws made it 124-121, and that's how it ended, after McAdoo threw a floor-length pass that touched no one before bouncing out of bounds.

It could have bounced all the way to LA, and the Celtics would have followed. The series was tied, 1-1.

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