Legendary Moments: Bird scores 60 vs the Hawks

NBA.com Global on Mar 13, 2019 08:08 AM
Legendary Moments: Bird scores 60 vs the Hawks
BOSTON - 1985: Larry Bird #33 of the Boston Celtics poses for a portrait in 1985 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

By Jeff Case, NBA.com

By the 1984-85 season, Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird had already established himself as an MVP and Finals MVP and one of the best players in the league. On March 12, 1985 in New Orleans, he further cemented his place in league history with an epic scoring performance against the Atlanta Hawks.

Bird erupted for a career-best 60 points in a 126-115 win against the Hawks. He was was unstoppable for most of the game to finish 22-for-36 from the floor. Bird, then 28, scored 32 of his 60 points over a 14-minute span in the second half.

Nine days earlier, teammate Kevin McHale had set the franchise record with a 56-point showing against the Detroit Pistons. Bird was inspired to go for 60 after McHale hit his mark, famously saying after the Detroit game, "He should have stayed in there. Should have gone for 60."

After the game -- which was played at Lakefront Arena on the campus of the University of New Orleans -- Hawks star Dominique Wilkins said, “The way he was shooting the ball was like living in a video game. It couldn’t be real. But it was.”

Bird finished the season with averages of  28.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists to win his second of three-straight NBA MVP awards.

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