The Stats Corner

This Date In Celtics History: Paul Pierce sends Magic packing in East Finals

This Date In Celtics History: Paul Pierce sends Magic packing in East Finals

The Boston Celtics had no intention of returning to Orlando for Game 7 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals.

On this date exactly 10 years ago, Paul Pierce made sure of that.

"The Truth" was an absolute force against the Magic in Game 6 of the East Finals on May 28, 2010, scoring 31 points on 9-of-15 shooting while adding 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals.

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The result: A 96-84 Celtics win at TD Garden that eliminated Orlando and punched Boston's ticket to the 2010 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Celtics only have one other victory on this date (they're 2-3 on May 28) but it also came during the Big Three era:

May 28, 2008: Kevin Garnett (33 points) and Ray Allen (29 points) carry the load as Boston edges the Detroit Pistons 106-102 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The C's finish the Pistons off in Game 6 to advance to the Finals.

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This Date In Celtics History: C's crush Lakers in 'Memorial Day Massacre'

This Date In Celtics History: C's crush Lakers in 'Memorial Day Massacre'

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers played some heated, tightly-contested NBA Finals games throughout the 1980s.

Game 1 of the 1985 NBA Finals was not one of them.

Wednesday marks the 35th anniversary of the "Memorial Day Massacre," in which the Celtics absolutely eviscerated the Lakers with a 148-114 win at the Boston Garden.

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Danny Ainge scored 15 points in the first quarter to set the tone, but backup forward Scott Wedman was the hero in this one, going a perfect 11-for-11 from the floor to score 26 points off the bench.

As for the Lakers? Star big man Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored just 12 points and actually apologized to his teammates after the 34-point rout, which at the time was the most lopsided result in Celtics-Lakers history.

The Celtics only have one other victory on this date (they're 2-3 on May 27) but it also came in the NBA Finals:

May 27, 1976: A 20-2 run in the third quarter powers the Celtics to a 105-90 win over the Phoenix Suns, giving them a 2-0 series lead in the 1976 NBA Finals.

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This Date In Celtics History: Larry Bird's iconic 1987 steal vs. Pistons

This Date In Celtics History: Larry Bird's iconic 1987 steal vs. Pistons

One of the best plays Larry Bird ever made wasn't circus shot or crafty layup.

It was a steal ... and you know the one we're talking about.

On May 26, 1987 -- fittingly 33 years ago Tuesday -- the Boston Celtics trailed the Detroit Pistons by one point with five seconds remaining in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

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The Pistons had possession and all hope seemed lost for Boston, until Bird read Isiah Thomas' eyes and stole the Pistons guard's inbound pass intended for Bill Laimbeer.

In one fluid motion, Bird corralled the ball, tip-toed the sideline and fired a pass to teammate Dennis Johnson, who converted the game-winning layup. Ballgame: Celtics 108, Pistons 107.

 

Bird's steal helped save the series for the Celtics, who lost Game 6 in Detroit but returned home to win Game 7 at the Boston Garden and advance to the 1987 NBA Finals.

Here are two other notable May 26 performances from the C's, who are 4-2 all-time in games played on this date:

May 26, 2012: Rajon Rondo becomes just the second player in Celtics history (after Bird) to record a Game 7 triple-double, tallying 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Boston defeats the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

May 26, 1988: The Celtics win another thriller over the Pistons, this time a 119-115 double-overtime victory in Game 2 of the 1988 East Finals. Robert Parish leads all scorers with 26 points and adds 11 rebounds.