Team: Boston Celtics
Opponent: Los Angeles Lakers
Result: Celtics over Lakers, 4-3
Finals Stats: 27.4 PPG, 14.0 RPG, 3.6 APG, 2.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG
When you hear Larry Bird's name, you don't immediately think of one of the game's best rebounders. However, that's just what he was in the 1984, as the Celtics' star grabbed 14 boards per night in addition to his customary scoring binges as Boston topped the Lakers in one of the all-time great Finals.
His comment after a Game 3 loss that the Celtics played like "sissies" ignited them in Game 4, with altercations such as Kevin McHale's clothesline of Kurt Rambis and Bird's scuffle with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar signifying that the Celtics weren't going away. Bird then followed that up with a virtuoso 34-point effort in Game 5 that gave the Celtics a 3-2 series lead, a night most remembered for the incredible 97 degree heat inside the air conditioning-free Boston Garden.