In this Game 3 of the 1986 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics verses the Houston Rockets….which was played on June 1st at The Summit in Houston, TX….in front of 16,016 fans…it became obvious that the Rockets, already down 2 – 0 in the series….had a must win situation facing them in this contest.
The Rockets would rally from eight points down in the fourth quarter….before escaping to a much-needed two-point win at home….despite another third quarter meltdown where they only scored 18 points….much like they had done in Games 1 + 2….as Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon combined for 47 points and 30 rebounds….while Robert Reid added 20….as reserve guard Mitchell Wiggins (father of Minnesota Timberwolves great young talent Mitchell Wiggins Jr.) had a tip-in off an Olajuwon miss late in the fourth to put the Rockets ahead for good….when the Celtics only managed one more shot in their final two possessions of the game….even though Kevin McHale and Larry Bird both scored 28 points in the loss….as Bird was held to 3-for-12 shooting in the second half due to Robert Reid’s defense.
The end results of the game showed Celtics Larry Bird with a triple-double of 28 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists….while the original Twin Towers of the NBA….Houston’s Ralph Sampson had 24 points and 22 rebounds….as Akeem The Dream would score 23 points and 8 rebounds to lead the Rockets.
This 1986 NBA Finals series was absolutely “Top Shelf” basketball for two outstanding teams….evidenced by the number of Hall of Fame players and coaches in the game….with 6 for Boston including Larry Bird, Robert Parrish, Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton, Kevin McHale and Coach K C Jones (as a player)….while Houston had their Hall of Fame Twin Towers….Ralph Sampson and Akeem Olajuwon…. for a total of 8 Hall of Famers….which makes for another reason why this video is well worth watching.