Larry Bird dueled Dominique Wilkins in Game 7 of their postseason series on this date in 1988

Larry Bird’s dominant fourth quarter electrified the Boston Garden and led the Boston Celtics past Dominique Wilkins’ Atlanta Hawks 118-116 in their second round series.

Wilkins had 47 but Bird scored 20 of his 34 in the fourth quarter. The two went shot for shot down the stretch with both players scoring at will late in the game.

A layup by Bird appeared to put the game out of reach for the Hawks but they had one final opportunity. Wilkins was fouled intensionally with Atlanta trailing by three points and one second remaining. He hit first free throw then missed the second on purpose but Boston secured the rebound and time expired.

In addition to Bird, Kevin McHale was also excellent for the Celtics. He finished with 33 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.

The Celtics had trailed 3-2 in the series but stayed alive with a 102-100 road victory.

“They might as well forget it,” Bird said after Game 6. “They’ve got no chance.”

In the fourth quarter, he turned his quote into reality.

Advertisement