1986 NBA playoffs

The 1986 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1985–86 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeating the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Larry Bird was named NBA Finals MVP for the second time.

This was the second NBA Finals meeting between the Celtics and Rockets; they met in the 1981 NBA Finals with the same result. It was the third of four straight Eastern Conference championships for Boston, who won 67 games that year, and went 40–1 at home. The Rockets, meanwhile had won just their second conference title in franchise history.

Second-year player Michael Jordan put on a record-setting performance in Game 2 of the Bulls' first-round series against the Celtics, scoring 63 points in a 2-OT loss, which surpassed Elgin Baylor's 61-point performance from the 1962 NBA Finals and still stands as the NBA Playoff scoring record. Jordan averaged 44.7 points per game in the series, but was unable to prevent the Bulls from being swept by a more experienced, more talented Celtics team. The Bulls set a dubious mark by posting the second worst record for a playoff-qualifying team in history, going just 30–52 during the season. Game 2, where the record was set, was ranked by TV Guide as the 26th Most Memorable Moment in Television History, and is credited with boosting the NBA's popularity surge and eventual rise to near the top of the United States television sports market, trailing only football by the mid-90s.

The 1986 playoffs marked the third time in four years that the Milwaukee Bucks advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, but it would be their last appearance in the series until 2001. The Celtics avenged their 1983 sweep by sweeping the Bucks in four games.

As for the Philadelphia 76ers, this was the last time they would play in a Game 7 until 2001. After their first round loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Detroit Pistons would advance past the first round in each of the next five seasons (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991), which include all appearances in the conference finals, three NBA Finals, and two championships.

After moving from Kansas City, where the franchise played its previous thirteen seasons, the Sacramento Kings made their first postseason appearance in their first season in its new city.

Bracket

 First RoundConference SemifinalsConference FinalsNBA Finals
                   
E1Boston*3 
E8Chicago0 
 E1Boston*4 
 E4Atlanta1 
E4Atlanta3
E5Detroit1 
 E1Boston*4 
Eastern Conference
 E2Milwaukee*0 
E3Philadelphia3 
E6Washington2 
 E3Philadelphia3
 E2Milwaukee*4 
E2Milwaukee*3
E7New Jersey0 
 E1Boston*4
 W2Houston*2
W1LA Lakers*3 
W8San Antonio0 
 W1LA Lakers*4
 W4Dallas2 
W4Dallas3
W5Utah1 
 W1LA Lakers*1
Western Conference
 W2Houston*4 
W3Denver3 
W6Portland1 
 W3Denver2
 W2Houston*4 
W2Houston*3
W7Sacramento0 


* Division winner
Bold Series winner
Italic Team with home-court advantage


First Round

Eastern Conference First Round

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Chicago Bulls

April 17
Chicago Bulls 104, Boston Celtics 123
Scoring by quarter: 35–27, 24–34, 25–33, 20–29
Pts: Michael Jordan 49
Rebs: Charles Oakley 10
Asts: Macy, Paxson 4 each
Pts: Larry Bird 30
Rebs: McHale, Parish 10 each
Asts: Larry Bird 8
Boston leads series, 1–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Jack Madden, Paul Mihalak
April 20
Chicago Bulls 131, Boston Celtics 135 (2OT)
Scoring by quarter: 33–25, 25–26, 33–37, 25–28Overtime: 9–9, 6–10
Pts: Michael Jordan 63
Rebs: Charles Oakley 14
Asts: Michael Jordan 6
Pts: Larry Bird 36
Rebs: McHale, Walton 15 each
Asts: Bird, Johnson 8 each
Boston leads series, 2–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Ed Middleton, Jack Nies
April 22
Boston Celtics 122, Chicago Bulls 104
Scoring by quarter: 33–23, 33–29, 33–19, 23–33
Pts: Kevin McHale 31
Rebs: Bill Walton 9
Asts: Larry Bird 8
Pts: John Paxson 23
Rebs: Dave Corzine 15
Asts: Michael Jordan 9
Boston wins series, 3–0
Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 18,968
Referees: Lee Jones, Ed Rush

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Celtics winning the first meeting.

(2) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (7) New Jersey Nets

April 18
New Jersey Nets 107, Milwaukee Bucks 119
Scoring by quarter: 29–34, 29–24, 26–28, 23–33
Pts: Buck Williams 27
Rebs: Buck Williams 14
Asts: Birdsong, Cook 7 each
Pts: Craig Hodges 25
Rebs: Alton Lister 10
Asts: Paul Pressey 10
Milwaukee leads series, 1–0
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Earl Strom, Hue Hollins
April 20
New Jersey Nets 97, Milwaukee Bucks 111
Scoring by quarter: 23–26, 23–23, 25–36, 26–26
Pts: Mike Gminski 28
Rebs: Mike Gminski 13
Asts: Darwin Cook 7
Pts: Terry Cummings 28
Rebs: Terry Cummings 7
Asts: Paul Pressey 7
Milwaukee leads series, 2–0
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Darrell Garretson, Dick Bavetta
April 22
Milwaukee Bucks 118, New Jersey Nets 113
Scoring by quarter: 24–36, 31–37, 36–22, 27–18
Pts: Terry Cummings 23
Rebs: Terry Cummings 11
Asts: Sidney Moncrief 5
Pts: Otis Birdsong 28
Rebs: Buck Williams 10
Asts: Kelvin Ransey 4
Milwaukee wins series, 3–0
Brendan Byrne Arena, East Rutherford, New Jersey
Attendance: 7,784
Referees: Hugh Evans, Ed Middleton, Dick Bavetta

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Bucks winning the first meeting.

(3) Philadelphia 76ers vs. (6) Washington Bullets

April 18
Washington Bullets 95, Philadelphia 76ers 94
Scoring by quarter: 25–22, 19–23, 24–25, 27–24
Pts: Jeff Malone 21
Rebs: Cliff Robinson 8
Asts: Gus Williams 7
Pts: Charles Barkley 26
Rebs: Charles Barkley 22
Asts: Charles Barkley 9
Washington leads series, 1–0
Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 9,148
Referees: Jack Madden, Ed Middleton
  • Dudley Bradley hits the game-winning 3 capping off a rally from 17 points down.
April 20
Washington Bullets 97, Philadelphia 76ers 102
Scoring by quarter: 26–22, 23–27, 30–26, 18–27
Pts: Jeff Malone 25
Rebs: Cliff Robinson 11
Asts: Gus Williams 12
Pts: Charles Barkley 27
Rebs: Charles Barkley 20
Asts: Charles Barkley 6
Series tied, 1–1
Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 9,057
Referees: Earl Strom, Hue Hollins
April 22
Philadelphia 76ers 91, Washington Bullets 86
Scoring by quarter: 26–27, 18–26, 22–18, 25–15
Pts: Julius Erving 22
Rebs: Charles Barkley 14
Asts: Julius Erving 6
Pts: Gus Williams 28
Rebs: Bol, Roundfield 10 each
Asts: Williams, Roundfield 4 each
Philadelphia leads series, 2–1
Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland
Attendance: 17,137
Referees: Jess Kersey, Mike Mathis
April 24
Philadelphia 76ers 111, Washington Bullets 116
Scoring by quarter: 31–27, 27–33, 26–31, 27–25
Pts: Maurice Cheeks 30
Rebs: Charles Barkley 15
Asts: Charles Barkley 7
Pts: Cliff Robinson 31
Rebs: Manute Bol 12
Asts: Jeff Ruland 5
Series tied, 2–2
Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland
Attendance: 12,588
Referees: Hugh Evans, Joe Crawford
April 27
Washington Bullets 109, Philadelphia 76ers 134
Scoring by quarter: 22–40, 30–30, 33–27, 24–37
Pts: Cliff Robinson 30
Rebs: Cliff Robinson 11
Asts: Gus Williams 6
Pts: Terry Catledge 27
Rebs: Charles Barkley 15
Asts: Charles Barkley 12
Philadelphia wins series, 3–2
Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 15,162
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Darrell Garretson

This was the fifth playoff meeting between these two teams, with each team winning two of the first four meetings.

(4) Atlanta Hawks vs. (5) Detroit Pistons

April 17
Detroit Pistons 122, Atlanta Hawks 140
Scoring by quarter: 34–30, 27–41, 29–32, 32–37
Pts: Bill Laimbeer 26
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 17
Asts: Isiah Thomas 16
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 28
Rebs: Rollins, Levingston 8 each
Asts: Doc Rivers 16
Atlanta leads series, 1–0
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 12,538
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Dick Bavetta
April 19
Detroit Pistons 125, Atlanta Hawks 137
Scoring by quarter: 34–29, 32–39, 30–33, 29–36
Pts: Isiah Thomas 36
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 12
Asts: Isiah Thomas 9
Pts: Randy Wittman 35
Rebs: Tree Rollins 14
Asts: Spud Webb 18
Atlanta leads series, 2–0
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 12,964
Referees: Ed Rush, Walter Rooney, Jim Capers
April 22
Atlanta Hawks 97, Detroit Pistons 106
Scoring by quarter: 24–33, 23–25, 21–26, 29–22
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 21
Rebs: Wilkins, Levingston 7 each
Asts: Doc Rivers 8
Pts: Kelly Tripucka 33
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 14
Asts: Isiah Thomas 11
Atlanta leads series, 2–1
Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Attendance: 13,312
Referees: Jack Madden, Joe Crawford
April 25
Atlanta Hawks 114, Detroit Pistons 113 (2OT)
Scoring by quarter: 25–28, 24–18, 24–26, 19–20Overtime: 11–11, 11–10
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 38
Rebs: Doc Rivers 13
Asts: Doc Rivers 9
Pts: Isiah Thomas 30
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 13
Asts: Isiah Thomas 12
Atlanta wins series, 3–1
Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Attendance: 15,288
Referees: Darell Garretson, Jess Kersey

This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Hawks winning two of the first three meetings while in St. Louis.

Western Conference First Round

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) San Antonio Spurs

April 17
San Antonio Spurs 88, Los Angeles Lakers 135
Scoring by quarter: 23–33, 22–34, 31–30, 12–38
Pts: Mike Mitchell 24
Rebs: Mitchell, S. Johnson 4 each
Asts: Wes Matthews 10
Pts: Byron Scott 24
Rebs: Kurt Rambis 8
Asts: Magic Johnson 18
LA Lakers lead series, 1–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Darell Garretson, Bill Oakes
April 19
San Antonio Spurs 94, Los Angeles Lakers 122
Scoring by quarter: 28–27, 21–26, 18–33, 27–36
Pts: Wes Matthews 30
Rebs: David Greenwood 7
Asts: Alvin Robertson 8
Pts: Magic Johnson 30
Rebs: Abdul-Jabbar, Lucas 10 each
Asts: Magic Johnson 13
LA Lakers lead series, 2–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Lee Jones, Joe Crawford
April 23
Los Angeles Lakers 114, San Antonio Spurs 94
Scoring by quarter: 27–20, 29–28, 28–15, 30–31
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 25
Rebs: Kurt Rambis 14
Asts: Magic Johnson 17
Pts: Wes Matthews 30
Rebs: Artis Gilmore 11
Asts: Wes Matthews 8
LA Lakers win series, 3–0
HemisFair Arena, San Antonio, Texas
Attendance: 7,918
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Tommy Nunez Sr.

This was the third playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning the first two meetings.

(2) Houston Rockets vs. (7) Sacramento Kings

April 17
Sacramento Kings 87, Houston Rockets 107
Scoring by quarter: 22–31, 15–24, 25–26, 25–26
Pts: Reggie Theus 18
Rebs: LaSalle Thompson 17
Asts: Reggie Theus 4
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 29
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 15
Asts: Rodney McCray 7
Houston leads series, 1–0
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 15,101
Referees: Hugh Evans, Tommy Nunez Sr.
April 19
Sacramento Kings 103, Houston Rockets 111
Scoring by quarter: 21–34, 23–22, 26–30, 33–25
Pts: Reggie Theus 19
Rebs: LaSalle Thompson 10
Asts: Reggie Theus 7
Pts: Robert Reid 29
Rebs: Ralph Sampson 8
Asts: Reid, Sampson 6 each
Houston leads series, 2–0
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,016
Referees: Mike Mathis, Jess Kersey
April 22
Houston Rockets 113, Sacramento Kings 98
Scoring by quarter: 23–26, 32–25, 32–22, 26–25
Pts: Lloyd, Sampson 25 each
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 13
Asts: Lloyd, McCray 7 each
Pts: Eddie Johnson 33
Rebs: three players 8 each
Asts: Reggie Theus 8
Houston wins series, 3–0
ARCO Arena I, Sacramento, California
Attendance: 10,333
Referees: Darell Garretson, Paul Mihalak

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Rockets winning the first meeting.

(3) Denver Nuggets vs. (6) Portland Trail Blazers

April 18
Portland Trail Blazers 126, Denver Nuggets 133
Scoring by quarter: 28–28, 34–38, 33–36, 31–31
Pts: Kiki VanDeWeghe 28
Rebs: Kenny Carr 9
Asts: Steve Colter 6
Pts: Calvin Natt 40
Rebs: Danny Schayes 11
Asts: English, Lever 9 each
Denver leads series, 1–0
McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 13,209
Referees: Mike Mathis, Jess Kersey
April 20
Portland Trail Blazers 108, Denver Nuggets 106
Scoring by quarter: 36–25, 18–21, 26–30, 28–30
Pts: Kiki VanDeWeghe 36
Rebs: Kenny Carr 11
Asts: Clyde Drexler 8
Pts: Alex English 24
Rebs: Blair Rasmussen 9
Asts: Alex English 10
Series tied, 1–1
McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 11,724
Referees: Joe Crawford, Paul Mihalak
April 22
Denver Nuggets 115, Portland Trail Blazers 104
Scoring by quarter: 23–28, 26–22, 32–21, 34–33
Pts: Blair Rasmussen 15
Rebs: Calvin Natt 11
Asts: Fat Lever 5
Pts: Kiki VanDeWeghe 24
Rebs: Kenny Carr 15
Asts: Clyde Drexler 7
Denver leads series, 2–1
Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon
Attendance: 12,666
Referees: Earl Strom, Bill Oakes
April 24
Denver Nuggets 116, Portland Trail Blazers 112
Scoring by quarter: 24–33, 28–30, 37–30, 27–19
Pts: Fat Lever 30
Rebs: T. R. Dunn 11
Asts: Alex English 8
Pts: Kiki VanDeWeghe 18
Rebs: Kenny Carr 18
Asts: Steve Colter 8
Denver wins series, 3–1
Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon
Attendance: 12,666
Referees: Jack Madden, Hue Hollins

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Trail Blazers winning the first meeting.

(4) Dallas Mavericks vs. (5) Utah Jazz

April 18
Utah Jazz 93, Dallas Mavericks 101
Scoring by quarter: 25–26, 30–34, 24–25, 14–16
Pts: Karl Malone 23
Rebs: Karl Malone 13
Asts: Rickey Green 12
Pts: Rolando Blackman 25
Rebs: Sam Perkins 15
Asts: Derek Harper 7
Dallas leads series, 1–0
Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 17,007
Referees: Hugh Evans, Tommy Nunez Sr.
April 20
Utah Jazz 106, Dallas Mavericks 113
Scoring by quarter: 28–31, 29–32, 28–27, 21–23
Pts: Karl Malone 31
Rebs: Mark Eaton 11
Asts: Rickey Green 8
Pts: Mark Aguirre 27
Rebs: Sam Perkins 10
Asts: Aguirre, Harper 5 each
Dallas leads series, 2–0
Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 17,007
Referees: Ed Rush, Lee Jones
April 23
Dallas Mavericks 98, Utah Jazz 100
Scoring by quarter: 23–29, 24–22, 31–25, 20–24
Pts: James Donaldson 17
Rebs: James Donaldson 20
Asts: Derek Harper 6
Pts: Rickey Green 32
Rebs: Thurl Bailey 14
Asts: Rickey Green 8
Dallas leads series, 2–1
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 11,635
Referees: Earl Strom, Hue Hollins
April 25
Dallas Mavericks 117, Utah Jazz 113
Scoring by quarter: 24–29, 31–25, 29–26, 33–33
Pts: Sam Perkins 29
Rebs: Sam Perkins 12
Asts: Mark Aguirre 8
Pts: Thurl Bailey 24
Rebs: Mark Eaton 12
Asts: Rickey Green 10
Dallas wins series, 3–1
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 12,683
Referees: Mike Mathis, Jack Madden

This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Jazz.

Conference Semifinals

Eastern Conference Semifinals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (4) Atlanta Hawks

April 27
Atlanta Hawks 91, Boston Celtics 103
Scoring by quarter: 23–30, 23–22, 17–34, 28–17
Pts: Kevin Willis 18
Rebs: Kevin Willis 8
Asts: Spud Webb 5
Pts: Kevin McHale 24
Rebs: Larry Bird 12
Asts: Dennis Johnson 14
Boston leads series, 1–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Hugh Evans, Mike Mathis
April 29
Atlanta Hawks 108, Boston Celtics 119
Scoring by quarter: 31–36, 20–29, 31–29, 26–25
Pts: Kevin Willis 23
Rebs: Willis, Rollins 10 each
Asts: Doc Rivers 7
Pts: Larry Bird 36
Rebs: Kevin McHale 9
Asts: Dennis Johnson 9
Boston leads series, 2–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Earl Strom, Bill Oakes
May 2
Boston Celtics 111, Atlanta Hawks 107
Scoring by quarter: 34–31, 30–29, 24–27, 23–20
Pts: Larry Bird 28
Rebs: Robert Parish 14
Asts: Larry Bird 12
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 38
Rebs: Kevin Willis 12
Asts: Doc Rivers 14
Boston leads series, 3–0
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 12,357
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Joe Crawford, Tommy Nunez Sr.
May 4
Boston Celtics 94, Atlanta Hawks 106
Scoring by quarter: 24–29, 27–21, 23–29, 20–27
Pts: Kevin McHale 26
Rebs: Kevin McHale 12
Asts: Larry Bird 5
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 37
Rebs: Tree Rollins 16
Asts: Spud Webb 12
Boston leads series, 3–1
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 12,357
Referees: Darrell Garretson, Paul Mihalak
May 6
Atlanta Hawks 99, Boston Celtics 132
Scoring by quarter: 27–32, 28–34, 6–36, 38–30
Pts: Spud Webb 15
Rebs: Tree Rollins 8
Asts: Spud Webb 8
Pts: Larry Bird 36
Rebs: Robert Parish 13
Asts: Dennis Johnson 8
Boston wins series, 4–1
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Jack Madden, Ed Middleton
  • Hawks only scored 1 field goal in the third quarter.

This was the eighth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Celtics winning six of the first seven meetings.

(2) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (3) Philadelphia 76ers

April 29
Philadelphia 76ers 118, Milwaukee Bucks 112
Scoring by quarter: 29–32, 24–33, 35–28, 30–19
Pts: Charles Barkley 31
Rebs: Charles Barkley 20
Asts: Cheeks, Threatt 7 each
Pts: Terry Cummings 23
Rebs: Terry Cummings 7
Asts: Paul Pressey 13
Philadelphia leads series, 1–0
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Ed Rush, Lee Jones
May 1
Philadelphia 76ers 107, Milwaukee Bucks 119
Scoring by quarter: 23–30, 32–31, 21–30, 31–28
Pts: Charles Barkley 26
Rebs: Charles Barkley 15
Asts: Maurice Cheeks 8
Pts: Terry Cummings 30
Rebs: Terry Cummings 15
Asts: Paul Pressey 7
Series tied, 1–1
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Jack Madden, Hue Hollins
May 3
Milwaukee Bucks 103, Philadelphia 76ers 107
Scoring by quarter: 27–18, 20–35, 26–26, 30–28
Pts: Terry Cummings 27
Rebs: Cummings, Lister 9 each
Asts: Paul Pressey 9
Pts: Charles Barkley 29
Rebs: Charles Barkley 13
Asts: Maurice Cheeks 10
Philadelphia leads series, 2–1
Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 14,611
Referees: Mike Mathis, Jess Kersey
May 5
Milwaukee Bucks 109, Philadelphia 76ers 104
Scoring by quarter: 27–27, 33–33, 24–20, 25–24
Pts: Cummings, Pierce 19 each
Rebs: Terry Cummings 13
Asts: three players 4 each
Pts: Charles Barkley 37
Rebs: Charles Barkley 14
Asts: Maurice Cheeks 10
Series tied, 2–2
Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 17,941
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Joe Crawford
May 7
Philadelphia 76ers 108, Milwaukee Bucks 113
Scoring by quarter: 26–33, 28–27, 30–26, 24–27
Pts: Charles Barkley 29
Rebs: Clemon Johnson 9
Asts: Barkley, Erving 5 each
Pts: Pressey, Cummings 23 each
Rebs: Terry Cummings 11
Asts: Paul Pressey 16
Milwaukee leads series, 3–2
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Paul Mihalak, Hugh Evans
May 9
Milwaukee Bucks 108, Philadelphia 76ers 126
Scoring by quarter: 28–35, 26–27, 21–32, 33–32
Pts: Craig Hodges 22
Rebs: Alton Lister 10
Asts: Terry Cummings 5
Pts: Jones, Barkley 23 each
Rebs: Charles Barkley 21
Asts: Maurice Cheeks 13
Series tied, 3–3
Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 15,287
Referees: Ed Rush, Darell Garretson
May 11
Philadelphia 76ers 112, Milwaukee Bucks 113
Scoring by quarter: 32–30, 26–33, 28–27, 26–23
Pts: Sedale Threatt 28
Rebs: Charles Barkley 12
Asts: Maurice Cheeks 6
Pts: Terry Cummings 27
Rebs: Terry Cummings 8
Asts: Paul Pressey 15
Milwaukee wins series, 4–3
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Jack Madden

This was the sixth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the 76ers winning four of the first five meetings.

Western Conference Semifinals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (4) Dallas Mavericks

April 27
Dallas Mavericks 116, Los Angeles Lakers 120
Scoring by quarter: 17–30, 31–36, 32–29, 36–35
Pts: Jay Vincent 18
Rebs: James Donaldson 10
Asts: Derek Harper 9
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 28
Rebs: Maurice Lucas 8
Asts: Magic Johnson 14
LA Lakers lead series, 1–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Ed Rush, Ed Middleton
April 30
Dallas Mavericks 113, Los Angeles Lakers 117
Scoring by quarter: 30–27, 33–29, 24–28, 26–33
Pts: Mark Aguirre 28
Rebs: Mark Aguirre 12
Asts: Derek Harper 16
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 26
Rebs: Maurice Lucas 11
Asts: Magic Johnson 9
LA Lakers lead series, 2–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Hugh Evans, Paul Mihalak
May 2
Los Angeles Lakers 108, Dallas Mavericks 110
Scoring by quarter: 23–26, 32–24, 28–31, 25–29
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 28
Rebs: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 12
Asts: Magic Johnson 14
Pts: Mark Aguirre 27
Rebs: James Donaldson 14
Asts: Mark Aguirre 8
LA Lakers lead series, 2–1
Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 17,007
Referees: Jack Madden, Hue Hollins
  • Derek Harper redeemed himself from his 1984 mistake by hitting the game-winning 3.
May 4
Los Angeles Lakers 118, Dallas Mavericks 120
Scoring by quarter: 33–45, 25–22, 29–31, 31–22
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 33
Rebs: Magic Johnson 15
Asts: Magic Johnson 14
Pts: Mark Aguirre 39
Rebs: James Donaldson 11
Asts: Derek Harper 11
Series tied, 2–2
Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 17,007
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Lee Jones
May 6
Dallas Mavericks 113, Los Angeles Lakers 116
Scoring by quarter: 25–29, 26–25, 28–30, 34–32
Pts: Mark Aguirre 27
Rebs: James Donaldson 8
Asts: Derek Harper 9
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 34
Rebs: Kurt Rambis 10
Asts: Magic Johnson 14
LA Lakers lead series, 3–2
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Jess Kersey, Mike Mathis
May 8
Los Angeles Lakers 120, Dallas Mavericks 107
Scoring by quarter: 33–28, 36–23, 19–30, 32–26
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 27
Rebs: Maurice Lucas 8
Asts: Magic Johnson 17
Pts: Mark Aguirre 28
Rebs: James Donaldson 18
Asts: Rolando Blackman 8
LA Lakers win series, 4–2
Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 17,007
Referees: Ed Rush, Joe Crawford

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning the first meeting.

(2) Houston Rockets vs. (3) Denver Nuggets

April 26
Denver Nuggets 119, Houston Rockets 126
Scoring by quarter: 32–32, 29–23, 30–39, 28–32
Pts: Alex English 34
Rebs: Schayes, Natt 7 each
Asts: English, Lever 9 each
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 38
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 16
Asts: Robert Reid 9
Houston leads series, 1–0
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 15,448
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Ed Middleton
April 29
Denver Nuggets 101, Houston Rockets 119
Scoring by quarter: 22–26, 21–27, 28–35, 30–31
Pts: Blair Rasmussen 18
Rebs: Wayne Cooper 9
Asts: Mike Evans 7
Pts: Ralph Sampson 27
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 14
Asts: Rodney McCray 10
Houston leads series, 2–0
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,016
Referees: Joe Crawford, Jess Kersey
May 2
Houston Rockets 115, Denver Nuggets 116
Scoring by quarter: 29–30, 29–33, 29–34, 28–19
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 31
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 11
Asts: McCray, Lloyd 8 each
Pts: Alex English 33
Rebs: Danny Schayes 8
Asts: Alex English 5
Houston leads series, 2–1
McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 17,022
Referees: Hugh Evans, Paul Mihalak
May 4
Houston Rockets 111, Denver Nuggets 114 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 32–27, 19–24, 29–23, 24–30Overtime: 7–10
Pts: Ralph Sampson 28
Rebs: Ralph Sampson 13
Asts: Robert Reid 7
Pts: Alex English 28
Rebs: Wayne Cooper 9
Asts: Turner, Hanzlik 5 each
Series tied, 2–2
McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 14,152
Referees: Hue Hollins, Ed Rush
May 6
Denver Nuggets 103, Houston Rockets 131
Scoring by quarter: 26–32, 20–40, 38–32, 19–27
Pts: Alex English 27
Rebs: Blair Rasmussen 12
Asts: Fat Lever 4
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 36
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 19
Asts: Robert Reid 12
Houston leads series, 3–2
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,016
Referees: Darell Garretson, Lee Jones
May 8
Houston Rockets 126, Denver Nuggets 122 (2OT)
Scoring by quarter: 21–33, 25–24, 31–24, 31–27, Overtime: 8–8, 10–6
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 28
Rebs: Ralph Sampson 18
Asts: Rodney McCray 7
Pts: Alex English 42
Rebs: Danny Schayes 14
Asts: Fat Lever 7
Houston wins series, 4–2
McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 17,022
Referees: Mike Mathis, Jack Madden

This was the first playoff meeting between the Nuggets and the Rockets.

Conference Finals

Eastern Conference Finals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (2) Milwaukee Bucks

May 13
Milwaukee Bucks 96, Boston Celtics 128
Scoring by quarter: 12–29, 26–31, 30–33, 28–35
Pts: Kenny Fields 18
Rebs: Terry Cummings 11
Asts: three players 3 each
Pts: Larry Bird 26
Rebs: Danny Ainge 10
Asts: Jerry Sichting 8
Boston leads series, 1–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Mike Mathis, Jess Kersey
May 15
Milwaukee Bucks 111, Boston Celtics 122
Scoring by quarter: 29–36, 26–27, 25–26, 31–33
Pts: Terry Cummings 23
Rebs: Alton Lister 7
Asts: Paul Pressey 9
Pts: Larry Bird 26
Rebs: Robert Parish 9
Asts: Larry Bird 9
Boston leads series, 2–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Darell Garretson, Lee Jones
May 17
Boston Celtics 111, Milwaukee Bucks 107
Scoring by quarter: 32–35, 21–25, 29–27, 29–20
Pts: Kevin McHale 29
Rebs: Larry Bird 16
Asts: Larry Bird 13
Pts: Terry Cummings 27
Rebs: Terry Cummings 18
Asts: Paul Pressey 9
Boston leads series, 3–0
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Ed Middleton
May 18
Boston Celtics 111, Milwaukee Bucks 98
Scoring by quarter: 25–28, 37–30, 17–24, 32–16
Pts: Larry Bird 30
Rebs: Kevin McHale 11
Asts: Ainge, Bird 5 each
Pts: Sidney Moncrief 27
Rebs: Alton Lister 12
Asts: Sidney Moncrief 8
Boston wins series, 4–0
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Ed Rush, Joe Crawford

This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Celtics winning two of the first three meetings.

Western Conference Finals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (2) Houston Rockets

May 10
Houston Rockets 107, Los Angeles Lakers 119
Scoring by quarter: 32–34, 26–30, 24–30, 25–25
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 28
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 16
Asts: Robert Reid 8
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 31
Rebs: Johnson, Lucas 7 each
Asts: Magic Johnson 18
LA Lakers lead series, 1–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Hue Hollins, Hugh Evans
May 13
Houston Rockets 112, Los Angeles Lakers 102
Scoring by quarter: 18–25, 36–28, 33–24, 25–25
Pts: Sampson, Lloyd 24 each
Rebs: Ralph Sampson 16
Asts: Rodney McCray 11
Pts: Magic Johnson 24
Rebs: Kurt Rambis 9
Asts: Magic Johnson 19
Series tied, 1–1
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Paul Mihalak
May 16
Los Angeles Lakers 109, Houston Rockets 117
Scoring by quarter: 38–37, 21–23, 32–30, 18–27
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 33
Rebs: Johnson, Lucas 8 each
Asts: Magic Johnson 20
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 40
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 12
Asts: Robert Reid 12
Houston leads series, 2–1
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,016
Referees: Jack Madden, Joe Crawford, Mike Mathis
May 18
Los Angeles Lakers 95, Houston Rockets 105
Scoring by quarter: 29–32, 24–18, 26–30, 16–25
Pts: James Worthy 26
Rebs: Magic Johnson 12
Asts: Magic Johnson 11
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 35
Rebs: Jim Petersen 13
Asts: Rodney McCray 6
Houston leads series, 3–1
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,016
Referees: Darell Garretson, Mike Mathis, Lee Jones
May 21
Houston Rockets 114, Los Angeles Lakers 112
Scoring by quarter: 23–35, 31–26, 31–26, 29–25
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 30
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 7
Asts: Rodney McCray 11
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 26
Rebs: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 13
Asts: Magic Johnson 13
Houston wins series, 4–1
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Earl Strom, Jess Kersey

This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Rockets winning the first meeting.

NBA Finals: (E1) Boston Celtics vs. (W2) Houston Rockets

May 26
Houston Rockets 100, Boston Celtics 112
Scoring by quarter: 28–34, 31–27, 17–30, 24–21
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 33
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 12
Asts: Robert Reid 8
Pts: Robert Parish 23
Rebs: Dennis Johnson 11
Asts: Larry Bird 13
Boston leads series, 1–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Jack Madden
May 29
Houston Rockets 95, Boston Celtics 117
Scoring by quarter: 30–31, 20–29, 19–34, 26–23
Pts: Akeem Olajuwon 21
Rebs: Akeem Olajuwon 10
Asts: McCray, Reid 5 each
Pts: Larry Bird 31
Rebs: Larry Bird 8
Asts: Larry Bird 7
Boston leads series, 2–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Jess Kersey, Hugh Evans
June 1
Boston Celtics 104, Houston Rockets 106
Scoring by quarter: 29–33, 30–29, 25–18, 20–26
Pts: Kevin McHale 28
Rebs: Larry Bird 15
Asts: Larry Bird 11
Pts: Ralph Sampson 24
Rebs: Ralph Sampson 22
Asts: Robert Reid 9
Boston leads series, 2–1
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,016
Referees: Joe Crawford, Jake O'Donnell
June 3
Boston Celtics 106, Houston Rockets 103
Scoring by quarter: 30–30, 33–34, 23–21, 20–18
Pts: Robert Parish 22
Rebs: Robert Parish 15
Asts: Larry Bird 10
Pts: Ralph Sampson 25
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 14
Asts: Ralph Sampson 9
Boston leads series, 3–1
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,016
Referees: Darell Garretson, Earl Strom
June 5
Boston Celtics 96, Houston Rockets 111
Scoring by quarter: 28–26, 19–32, 18–28, 31–25
Pts: Kevin McHale 33
Rebs: Kevin McHale 8
Asts: Danny Ainge 5
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 32
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 14
Asts: Robert Reid 17
Boston leads series, 3–2
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,016
Referees: Hugh Evans, Jack Madden
June 8
Houston Rockets 97, Boston Celtics 114
Scoring by quarter: 23–29, 15–26, 23–27, 36–32
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 21
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 10
Asts: McCray, Reid 5 each
Pts: Larry Bird 29
Rebs: Larry Bird11
Asts: Larry Bird 12
Boston wins series, 4–2
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Darrell Garretson

This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Celtics winning the first three meetings.

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1986 NBA playoffs, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.