Larry Bird’s 60 vs the Hawks


Lots of nostalgia surrounding Wilt’s 100 point game. It got me thinking about Larry Bird’s 60 pt game he had vs the Hawks in the mid ’80s.

I remember a couple of things from that night: Dominique Wilkins also went off; Bird was unconscious; and my old man (a Celtics fan) telling me “he could do this every night, but he’s too unselfish”.

I decided to do a little research, and it was well worth it.     

The numbers, courtesy of a photo-copy of the handwritten box score from the game (March 25 1985):

22 for 36 FG  –  1 for 4 3pt FG –  15 for 16 FT  –  7 REB  –  3 ASS   in 43 min

Impressive enough – keep in mind that Bird did plenty of damage 20 + ft from the basket.

He scored the last 16 points of the game for the C’s.

Then I stumbled across the 11 minute video highlight from the game.

Oh my.

First things first: that was an incredible shooting display.

Secondary observations:

– Current Yankee radio voice John Sterling was getting a head start on his silly hyperbole: “ of the greatest playmakers in the history of basketball”. Huh???

– Antoine Carr was a lot more spry than I remembered, and he punked Bird pretty good on that dunk.

– Doc Rivers sighting. Decent hops on him too.

– Dominique finishes with authority. That should be on his tombstone.

– However, he looked helpless trying to check Bird.

– Half way through the video, the end of the Atlanta bench starts noticeably reacting to Bird’s heroics. From what I can tell, it’s Cliff Levingston, Scott Hastings, and Tree Rollins. On the three he hits that doesn’t count, Rollins & Levingston throw their hands up and seem to say “that’s it, I’ve seen enough, I’m gettin the hell outta here”, as they take a step towards the locker room.

-Future NBA champion head coach Rick Carlisle congratulating Bird post game.

I miss anything?

 Photo courtsey of Getty Images


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8 Responses to “Larry Bird’s 60 vs the Hawks”

  1. Mojah Fukweh Says:

    Yea, u missed Robert Parish, Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson, and Kevin McHale.
    Bird looks like a faster, less selfish version of Dirk. Or better yet Dirk looks like a slower, more selfish version of Bird.
    The shot on 8:25 was ridiculous.
    He should have had 62 cuz the shot that didn’t count should have been a 4-point play but I’m guessing the continuation rule wasn’t in effect back then.
    Charles Barkley was right when he said “Bird was so good u could get away with wearing his jersey in the ghetto.”

    • Trev Says:

      I didn’t mention them bc they are pretty well known.

      Nowitzki does have some of the same qualities. Bird is a better passer and rebounder, and better leader.

      Barkley was spot on.

  2. Jeff Gehring Says:

    Shows off his baskteball IQ and how fundamentally sound he was as a player. He was able to score 60 points with minimal athletic ability, especially compared to other professional athletes. Mentally, he was a few steps ahead of all everyone else, and it showed in his passing, shooting, and rebounding.

  3. 1985 NBA Season – Magic vs Bird Part 2 + Hello Mr. Jordan | The NBA History Says:

    […] Larry Bird had an incredible game versus the Hawks in 1985 *photo courtesy of The Sports Cult […]

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