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Today in Sports History: 4/20 – Michael Jordan Scores 63 in the NBA Playoffs

Today in sports history (1986), Michael Jordan scored 63 points in a playoff game against the Boston Celtics. Jordan, who was two years removed from being drafted third overall by the Chicago Bulls, almost immediately showed the NBA why he was picked at the three spot in the 1984 NBA draft.

The Bulls seemed to be in the early stages of being ready to compete. In 1986, they were matched up with Larry Bird’s Celtics. This was at the height of the Bird-Magic rivalry, with many believing that the Celtics were the team to beat. In fact, the Celtics swept the Bulls in the first round and went on to win the NBA Finals. This did not stop Jordan though, as he did everything that he could to win the series for the Bulls.

Michael Jordan Today in History
Credit: Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Michael Jordan Scores the Most Points in NBA Playoffs History

In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round, the Chicago Bulls were matched up with the juggernaut Boston Celtics. Even though the Bulls lost the game, 135-131, Jordan led the Bulls into double-overtime. In the game, Jordan played 53 minutes, scoring 63 points on 22/41 shooting from the field. With his 63 points, Jordan did not attempt a three-point shot. At the free throw line, Jordan made 19/21 attempts. This was Jordan’s third-highest-scoring game in his career.

This performance caught the eye of Bird who said, “He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”

If we step back and take a look at Jordan’s career, this may be the moment that started one of the greatest legacies in sports history. We all knew what Michael Jordan could be coming out of college, but I am not sure that anyone expected Jordan to become a top athlete of all time.


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