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Go-Ahead Lay-Up (Bird)

Just five seconds left in the 5th game of the conference finals, the away team clung to at 107-106 lead at the Garden, hoping to steal a win away so that it could close out the series at home. They had a time out, and their showman coach was trying to call it. The Hall of Fame point guard saw his fiery center open near the basket, and lofted – too softly – a pass, which the center, committing a cardinal sin of basketball, did not move quickly toward. The heady Hall of Famer forward from the home team, seeing that the inbounds pass was lazily tossed, got there first and stole the ball, passing off to his brilliant guard who laid it up and in the basket to take the lead and win the the game. The home teams would win each of the remaining two games, the Garden thus hosting – yet again – another victorious game seven. Playmaker: Ian M.