The star power in the series was amazing as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy led the Lakers against Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Dennis Johnson, and the hated Celtics. The Lakers were able to gain a 2-1 series lead heading into a crucial fourth game in the Boston Garden.
The Celtics were dominant early, building up a 16 point lead at halftime and looked to be on their way to evening the series. With Game 5 being in Boston, the Lakers could ill afford to lose this game as they fought back in the second half.
The Lakers chipped away at the lead, cutting it to eight with only three minutes left to play. The Lakers would take the lead thanks to an Abdul-Jabbar dunk with 30 seconds left, but a Larry Bird three-pointer put the Celtics right back on top. Abdul-Jabbar would then split a pair of free-throws, but the rebound would bounce off the Celtics, setting up the fateful possession.
Trailing by one point, Magic Johnson received the ball on the left wing. With McHale guarding him, he drove to the middle of the paint and as Bird and Parish converged, Magic put up a hook shot that would trickle through the net. Magic’s ‘Baby Hook’ would give the Lakers the lead and after a Bird missed three on the other end, a 3-1 lead on the way to an eventual NBA championship.
The shot stands one of the most memorable moments in the history of the NBA and the nail in the coffin of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry in the 1980s. On this Flashback Friday, we remember Magic Johnson and his Baby Hook to beat the Celtics in the 1987 NBA Finals.
Check out one of the greatest moments in Lakers history below:
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