1987 NBA Playoffs

The 1987 NBA Playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1986-87 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. The Lakers earned their 10th NBA championship, and Magic Johnson was named NBA Finals MVP for a then-record third time.

Before 2008, this was the last time the Celtics and Lakers met in the NBA Finals, though Boston threatened in 2002, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Nets in 6 games.

By making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pistons advanced farther in the playoffs than they had in the past 25 years. They would make their first NBA Finals appearance since 1956 the following season, the first of 3 straight trips to the Finals (winning the last 2).

The Warriors & Pacers made their first playoff appearances since 1977 and 1981. The Pacers also won their first NBA playoff game, in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Hawks.

By beating Dallas 3–1, the Sonics became the first #7 seed to defeat a #2 seed since the playoffs expanded to 16 teams in 1984. They reached the Western Conference Finals. The 1989 & 1991 Warriors, 1998 Knicks and 2010 Spurs were the other 7th seeds to beat the 2nd seed.

One of the most memorable moments of the playoffs occurred in the final moments of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals when, with Boston down 107-106, Isiah Thomas had his inbounds pass stolen by Larry Bird, who passed to Dennis Johnson for the game-winning layup.

The only dent in the Lakers' run to the Finals came in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Warriors, when Sleepy Floyd scored a playoff record 39 points in the second half, with a record 29 coming in the fourth quarter, to seal a 129-121 win. Both records still stand.


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