Thursday, June 8, 2023

Magic Johnson Wins Game 4 against Celtics with “Junior Skyhook”

Magic Johnson wins 1987 Game 4 with "Junior Skyhook"

In the 1980’s basketball fans were awarded with tons of strong rivalries with the most prominent being the Lakers-Celtics wars. During that decade the two teams would go on to meet in the NBA Finals three different times with each series having its own famous moments. However this snapshot from the 1987 Finals is one that Boston Celtics fans wish they could erase from their mind.

Magic Johnson in Converse Weapon
Magic Johnson in Converse Weapon

The Lakers were up in the series 2-1. Game 4 was in Boston and one the Celtics obviously needed. They knew the stakes and what a mountain they would be climbing if they were to lose. And for the most part they did their job even amassing a 16 point lead at halftime. But the Lakers slowly chipped away at the lead over the final 2 quarters. With about 7 seconds left in the game the Celtics had a 1 point lead, but the Lakers would have the ball.

Magic Johnson in Converse Weapon

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a key cog in the offense but out of the timeout the ball went to Magic Johnson in his signature Converse Weapons. After receiving the ball he had Kevin McHale closing in on him but thanks to a pump fake he dribbled towards the key to see what play could be made. As he made his way towards the heart of the defense, McHale, Robert Parish and his rival Larry Bird were converging on him. But before they could stop him Magic lifted off and launched unexpected hookshot. Swish. Lakers up by 1 with 2 seconds left, the crowd at Boston Garden deflated.

The Lakers would go on to win the game after Bird missed an attempt at the buzzer taking a 3-1 series lead with the 107-106 victory. The play tearing out the hearts of the Celtics and their fans, as visions of Magic in his gold/purple Weapons hitting that skyhook would play in their nightmares. Magic would go on to call the shot his “junior, junior, junior sky hook.” Whatever its called the shot helped the Lakers win the 1987 Finals in 6 games with Magic winning the Finals MVP award to go along with his regular-season MVP.

Los Angeles Lakers 1986-1987 Team Photo
Los Angeles Lakers 1986-1987 Team Photo

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