Twenty-seven years ago today, with the Celtics trailing 107-106 and five seconds left in game five of the Eastern Conference Finals, Boston’s Larry Bird stole a lazy inbounds pass from Detroit’s Isaiah Thomas, and passed the ball to teammate Dennis Johnson. DJ hit a tough right-handed lay-up with :01 left to give the Celtics a miraculous 108-107 victory over the Pistons and a 3-2 series lead.
Boston eventually lost game 6, but won game 7. Even though the Celtics lost to the LA Lakers in six games in the NBA Finals, they displayed great courage through a difficult season filled with injuries, and the loss of their 1st-round draft choice Len Bias to a cocaine overdose. Bias, who died just days after being drafted, had Hall of Fame ability and would have prolonged the careers of Bird and teammate Kevin McHale.