In 1985–86, the Boston Celtics won 67 games….while going 40–1 at home….which would be tied 30 years later by the San Antonio Spurs in 2016….and were one win shy of tying their franchise record of 68 wins set in 1972–73. Larry Bird won his third consecutive MVP award…while Bill Walton won the Sixth Man of the Year Award….in a season where Kevin McHale missed an 18-game stretch during the season due to injury….and during his absence the Celtics record was 15–3. They won their 16th championship and their last for 22 years by defeating the Houston Rockets in six games in the NBA Finals,…and had won 82 combined regular season and playoff games….which was a record that stood until the Chicago Bulls did it 10 years later.
Under head coach K.C. Jones, the 1985–86 Boston Celtics finished the regular season with a record of 67–15….as this team is generally considered to be the best of Larry Bird’s career….for in addition to longtime Celtics Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, the franchise was joined on the front line by former NBA MVP Bill Walton….who despite a career plagued by a series of serious injuries to his knees, ankles and feet….would win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. Walton had basically missed the past two seasons and the Los Angeles Clippers put him on the trading block as his contract ran out….for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Celtics were both interested….but the Lakers wanted Walton to be cleared by their team doctor before making any trade….whereas the Celtics were willing to trade Cedric Maxwell for Walton based solely on his word that he felt he was healthy enough to play. Walton appeared in a career high 80 games. The backcourt was led by the MVP of the 1979 NBA Finals, defensive stopper Dennis Johnson, and former Toronto Blue Jays baseball player, shooting guard Danny Ainge. Off the bench, the Celtics featured former All-Star Scott Wedman and recent acquisition from the Indiana Pacers in Jerry Sichting.
In the 1st round of the NBA Playoffs….the Celts destroyed the Chigago Bulls and won the series 3 – 0…as the highlight of the first round was the second game….which went into double-overtime….as the Celtics were matched up against Michael Jordan….who scored 63 points at the Boston Garden….which set, and remains, the NBA record for scoring in a single playoff game….and nearly led his team to an upset. The Celtics won the game, 135–131, and closed out the series two days later in Chicago.
In the Conference Semifinals….featuring the Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks:….the Celtics again dominated to win the series 4–1….in a series that was highlighted by a game 5 blow-out….where the final score was 132–99….and featured the Celtics hammering the Hawks in the third quarter by a score of 36–6.
In the Eastern Conference Finals…..the featuring the Boston Celtics vs. (2) Milwaukee Bucks….where the Celtics again dominated to to win the series 4 – 0….in a match-up not only against the Bucks….but also head coach Don Nelson….who was a former Celtic player who enraged the Celtics in the 1983 NBA Playoffs by accusing Celtic guard Danny Ainge of “dirty” play. The Celtics swept the Bucks….in what was the third time in four years that the Bucks and the Celtics had met in the playoffs…..where the Bucks defeated the Celtics in the 1983 Eastern Conference Semifinals….and the Celtics defeated the Bucks in the 1984 Eastern Conference Finals.
In the 1985 – 1986 NBA Finals….the Boston Celtics defeated the Houston Rockets to win the series 4 – 2…..becoming the NBA Champ for the 16th time in NBA history…..and Imasportsphile has every moment of every game featured in our NBA section….which is truly “must see TV”….cuz the truth may be that this 1985 Celtics team was one of the best teams of all time NBA history on a team where 5 of their 13 players on this team would become future members of the NBA Hall of Fame including Dennis Johnson, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish and Bill Walton….along with Head Coach K. C. Jones and GM Red Auerbach.