On May 22, 1988, an epic duel of great proportion took place on the hardwoods on the Boston Garden. Hawks/Celtics, Nique versus Bird, Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semi Finals. Many die-hard NBA fans will tell you that you will get no argument from anyone on this being one of the greatest showdowns the league has ever witnessed.
Dominique Wilkins lit up the Celtics defense for 47 points, shooting a ridiculous 19-23 from the field. Larry Bird had 34, 20 of which came when it counted the most, in the final quarter. Nique and Larry seemed to score every single basket down the stretch. It was almost as if their teammates didn't exist, as if the house lights were down and there was merely a spotlight following each player from end to end.
The Celtics would eventually prevail, winning the battle 118-116. And although there could only be one winner, hindsight shows both teams as victors on that day. Every player, coach, broadcaster, and fan in attendance knew they'd just witnessed one of the greatest games in league history and individual performances they'd never forget.