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Today in Sports History: 3/12 – Larry Bird Sets Boston Celtics Points Record

Today in sports history (1985), Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird set the team points record, scoring 60 points in one game. Bird is easily one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

He was not your prototypical player. Bird was tall, lanky and un-athletic. What Bird did have though was an incredible mind. It can be debated that Larry Bird has the greatest basketball IQ of all time. He was always in the right spot at the right time and made the right play, whether it was him or a teammate taking the shot. Bird would often trash talk not only opposing players, but coaches as well. This all culminated for Bird’s highest-scoring output, 60 points against the Atlanta Hawks.

Larry Bird 60 point game Sports History
Credit: Getty Images

Larry Bird Erupts for 60 Against the Hawks

While Larry Legend was known was for his mental game and trash talk, he also had one of the sweetest jump shots that the league has ever seen. That was on display all game long for the visiting Atlanta Hawks.

Bird finished the game shooting 61.1% from the field on 22-of-36 shooting. Nine days prior to the game, Kevin McHale had set the franchise record for most points in a game, with 56. After this game, Bird said that he was inspired to go for 50 points, saying “He should have stayed in there. Should have gone for 60.”

This game against Atlanta was also the famous game, where the Hawks bench was visibly reacting to Larry Bird’s game. This included laughing, clapping and falling off of the bench.

Dominique Wilkins, who was just reaching his prime, compared Bird’s performance to a video game. He said, “The way he was shooting the ball was like living in a video game. It couldn’t be real. But it was.”

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