1987 NBA playoffs

A ticket for Game 2 of the 1987 Western Conference Semifinals between the Houston Rockets and the Seattle SuperSonics.

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.

This was the last time the Celtics would appear in the NBA Finals until 2008. Boston only advanced as far as the Conference Finals twice in that stretch: losing the following year to the Detroit Pistons in six games and in 2002 to the New Jersey Nets, also in 6 games.

The Pistons appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals was the franchise's first (and their first Division/Conference Final appearance since 1962). It would be the first of five straight Conference Finals appearances for Detroit. 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 respectively. 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 Supersonics 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, where they were swept by the Lakers. As of 2016, they are the most recent team with a sub-.500 record (39-43) to advance as far as the 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.

Bracket

 First RoundConference SemifinalsConference FinalsNBA Finals
                   
E1Boston*3 
E8Chicago0 
 E1Boston*4 
 E4Milwaukee3 
E4Milwaukee3
E5Philadelphia2 
 E1Boston*4 
Eastern Conference
 E3Detroit3 
E3Detroit3 
E6Washington0 
 E3Detroit4
 E2Atlanta*1 
E2Atlanta*3
E7Indiana1 
 E1Boston*2
 W1LA Lakers*4
W1LA Lakers*3 
W8Denver0 
 W1LA Lakers*4
 W5Golden State1 
W4Utah2
W5Golden State3 
 W1LA Lakers*4
Western Conference
 W7Seattle0 
W3Portland1 
W6Houston3 
 W6Houston2
 W7Seattle4 
W2Dallas*1
W7Seattle3 


* 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 23
Chicago Bulls 104, Boston Celtics 108
Scoring by quarter: 24–34, 23–32, 26–20, 31–22
Pts: Michael Jordan 35
Rebs: Charles Oakley 12
Asts: Michael Jordan 7
Pts: Kevin McHale 21
Rebs: Robert Parish 11
Asts: Larry Bird 13
Boston leads series, 1–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Jack Madden, Tommy Nunez Sr., Mike Lauerman
April 26
Chicago Bulls 96, Boston Celtics 105
Scoring by quarter: 30–30, 18–26, 29–26, 19–23
Pts: Michael Jordan 42
Rebs: Charles Oakley 15
Asts: Jordan, Threatt 4 each
Pts: Larry Bird 29
Rebs: McHale, Parish 10 each
Asts: Larry Bird 8
Boston leads series, 2–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Lee Jones
April 28
Boston Celtics 105, Chicago Bulls 94
Scoring by quarter: 28–28, 23–24, 17–21, 37–21
Pts: Larry Bird 32
Rebs: Larry Bird 14
Asts: Dennis Johnson 10
Pts: Michael Jordan 30
Rebs: Charles Oakley 19
Asts: Michael Jordan 7
Boston wins series, 3–0
Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Attendance: 18,122
Referees: Hugh Evans, John Vanak

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

(2) Atlanta Hawks vs. (7) Indiana Pacers

April 24
Indiana Pacers 94, Atlanta Hawks 110
Scoring by quarter: 25–24, 26–30, 16–21, 27–35
Pts: Steve Stipanovich 22
Rebs: Steve Stipanovich 13
Asts: Vern Fleming 6
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 35
Rebs: Tree Rollins 11
Asts: Spud Webb 9
Atlanta leads series, 1–0
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 16,522
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Hue Hollins
April 26
Indiana Pacers 93, Atlanta Hawks 94
Scoring by quarter: 26–23, 23–27, 21–21, 23–23
Pts: Chuck Person 24
Rebs: Herb Williams 8
Asts: Williams, Fleming 4 each
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 43
Rebs: Kevin Willis 10
Asts: Spud Webb 14
Atlanta leads series, 2–0
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 16,522
Referees: Earl Strom, Tommy Nunez Sr.
April 29
Atlanta Hawks 87, Indiana Pacers 96
Scoring by quarter: 16–27, 21–19, 25–23, 25–27
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 22
Rebs: Kevin Willis 7
Asts: Doc Rivers 10
Pts: Chuck Person 23
Rebs: Chuck Person 17
Asts: Chuck Person 7
Atlanta leads series, 2–1
Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 12,303
Referees: Jack Madden, Mike Mathis
May 1
Atlanta Hawks 101, Indiana Pacers 97
Scoring by quarter: 16–20, 27–21, 29–32, 29–24
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 30
Rebs: Dominique Wilkins 9
Asts: Doc Rivers 15
Pts: Chuck Person 40
Rebs: Vern Fleming 11
Asts: Vern Fleming 8
Atlanta wins series, 3–1
Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
Attendance: 14,039
Referees: Jess Kersey, Joe Crawford, Lee Jones

This was the first playoff meeting between the Hawks and the Pacers.

(3) Detroit Pistons vs. (6) Washington Bullets

April 24
Washington Bullets 92, Detroit Pistons 106
Scoring by quarter: 24–26, 21–31, 28–23, 19–26
Pts: Terry Catledge 24
Rebs: Malone, Catledge 12 each
Asts: Moses Malone 3
Pts: Isiah Thomas 34
Rebs: Laimbeer, Rodman 10 each
Asts: Isiah Thomas 9
Detroit leads series, 1–0
Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Attendance: 15,419
Referees: Earl Strom, Bill Oakes, Tommy Nunez Sr.
April 26
Washington Bullets 85, Detroit Pistons 128
Scoring by quarter: 22–36, 14–40, 31–29, 18–23
Pts: Terry Catledge 19
Rebs: Moses Malone 10
Asts: Ennis Whatley 4
Pts: Adrian Dantley 24
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 9
Asts: Vinnie Johnson 13
Detroit leads series, 2–0
Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Attendance: 14,389
Referees: Darell Garretson, Hue Hollins, Bernie Fryer
April 29
Detroit Pistons 97, Washington Bullets 96
Scoring by quarter: 27–27, 27–28, 24–16, 19–25
Pts: Dantley, Johnson 21 each
Rebs: Rick Mahorn 12
Asts: Isiah Thomas 10
Pts: Moses Malone 31
Rebs: Moses Malone 16
Asts: Michael Adams 8
Detroit wins series, 3–0
Capital Centre, Landover, Maryland
Attendance: 10,831
Referees: Paul Mihalak, Jess Kersey, James Capers Sr.

This was the first playoff meeting between the Pistons and the Bullets.

(4) Milwaukee Bucks vs. (5) Philadelphia 76ers

April 24
Philadelphia 76ers 104, Milwaukee Bucks 107
Scoring by quarter: 25–24, 26–27, 33–34, 20–22
Pts: Charles Barkley 21
Rebs: Charles Barkley 13
Asts: Cheeks, Toney 9
Pts: Terry Cummings 21
Rebs: Jack Sikma 11
Asts: Paul Pressey 10
Milwaukee leads series, 1–0
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Darell Garretson, Lee Jones
April 26
Philadelphia 76ers 125, Milwaukee Bucks 122 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 26–31, 23–22, 29–31, 30–24, Overtime: 17–14
Pts: Roy Hinson 28
Rebs: Charles Barkley 15
Asts: Maurice Cheeks 11
Pts: Ricky Pierce 24
Rebs: Randy Breuer 9
Asts: Paul Pressey 9
Series tied, 1–1
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Mike Mathis, Jess Kersey
April 29
Milwaukee Bucks 121, Philadelphia 76ers 120
Scoring by quarter: 25–25, 23–32, 37–38, 36–25
Pts: Terry Cummings 26
Rebs: Jack Sikma 12
Asts: John Lucas 9
Pts: Charles Barkley 39
Rebs: Cliff Robinson 10
Asts: Cheeks, Toney 8 each
Milwaukee leads series, 2–1
Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 14,361
  • Jack Sikma gets his shot blocked, jumps back up, catches the ball in mid-air and line-drives it in with 2 seconds left for the game-winner.
May 1
Milwaukee Bucks 118, Philadelphia 76ers 124
Scoring by quarter: 29–18, 28–34, 23–32, 38–40
Pts: Terry Cummings 29
Rebs: Jack Sikma 13
Asts: John Lucas 10
Pts: Charles Barkley 25
Rebs: Charles Barkley 13
Asts: Maurice Cheeks 11
Series tied, 2–2
Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 15,464
Referees: Jack Madden, Paul Mihalak
May 3
Philadelphia 76ers 89, Milwaukee Bucks 102
Scoring by quarter: 22–29, 28–24, 17–21, 22–28
Pts: Julius Erving 24
Rebs: Charles Barkley 13
Asts: Cheeks, Wingate 5 each
Pts: Jack Sikma 18
Rebs: Jack Sikma 21
Asts: Paul Pressey 9
Milwaukee wins series, 3–2
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Earl Strom, Ed T. Rush

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

Western Conference First Round

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (8) Denver Nuggets

April 23
Denver Nuggets 95, Los Angeles Lakers 128
Scoring by quarter: 32–39, 21–43, 20–30, 22–16
Pts: Blair Rasmussen 26
Rebs: Blair Rasmussen 13
Asts: Fat Lever 9
Pts: James Worthy 28
Rebs: Mychal Thompson 9
Asts: Magic Johnson 14
LA Lakers lead series, 1–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
  • Magic Johnson hits an 88-foot shot at the buzzer to end the first half.
April 25
Denver Nuggets 127, Los Angeles Lakers 139
Scoring by quarter: 23–40, 32–33, 33–32, 39–34
Pts: Fat Lever 26
Rebs: Fat Lever 10
Asts: Fat Lever 9
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 28
Rebs: A. C. Green 13
Asts: Magic Johnson 15
LA Lakers lead series, 2–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,297
Referees: Hugh Evans, Bill Saar, Ronnie Nunn
April 29
Los Angeles Lakers 140, Denver Nuggets 103
Scoring by quarter: 25–26, 44–30, 36–22, 35–25
Pts: Byron Scott 25
Rebs: A. C. Green 10
Asts: Magic Johnson 14
Pts: Alex English 25
Rebs: Wayne Cooper 12
Asts: Alex English 6
LA Lakers win series, 3–0
McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado
Attendance: 15,137
Referees: Joe Crawford, Hue Hollins, Mike Lauerman

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

(2) Dallas Mavericks vs. (7) Seattle SuperSonics

April 23
Seattle SuperSonics 129, Dallas Mavericks 151
Scoring by quarter: 28–39, 31–38, 29–43, 41–31
Pts: Tom Chambers 35
Rebs: Xavier McDaniel 13
Asts: Xavier McDaniel 7
Pts: Mark Aguirre 28
Rebs: Roy Tarpley 11
Asts: Brad Davis 9
Dallas leads series, 1–0
Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 17,007
Referees: John Vanak, Jess Kersey, Bruce Alexander
April 25
Seattle SuperSonics 112, Dallas Mavericks 110
Scoring by quarter: 35–34, 29–32, 26–26, 22–18
Pts: Dale Ellis 32
Rebs: Xavier McDaniel 9
Asts: Nate McMillan 8
Pts: Mark Aguirre 28
Rebs: Roy Tarpley 8
Asts: Derek Harper 8
Series tied, 1–1
Reunion Arena, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 17,007
Referees: Jack Madden, Paul Mihalak, Bernie Fryer
April 28
Dallas Mavericks 107, Seattle SuperSonics 117
Scoring by quarter: 15–26, 22–29, 36–34, 34–28
Pts: Derek Harper 30
Rebs: Sam Perkins 11
Asts: Derek Harper 8
Pts: Dale Ellis 43
Rebs: Dale Ellis 14
Asts: Nate McMillan 9
Seattle leads series, 2–1
Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 8,150
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bill Saar, Bennett Salvatore
April 30
Dallas Mavericks 98, Seattle SuperSonics 124
Scoring by quarter: 21–33, 27–28, 29–27, 21–36
Pts: Rolando Blackman 25
Rebs: Roy Tarpley 17
Asts: Derek Harper 5
Pts: Tom Chambers 31
Rebs: Chambers, Ellis 9 each
Asts: Nate McMillan 9
Seattle wins series, 3–1
Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 8,150
Referees: Earl Strom, Tommy Nunez Sr., Bill Oakes
  • Seattle becomes first 7th seeded team to eliminate 2nd seeded team since Playoffs moved to 16-team format in 1984.

SuperSonics win series 3–1

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

(3) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (6) Houston Rockets

April 24
Houston Rockets 125, Portland Trail Blazers 115
Scoring by quarter: 35–32, 30–28, 27–22, 33–33
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 30
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 10
Asts: Allen Leavell 10
Pts: Kiki VanDeWeghe 30
Rebs: Clyde Drexler 13
Asts: Terry Porter 11
Houston leads series, 1–0
April 26
Houston Rockets 98, Portland Trail Blazers 111
Scoring by quarter: 38–29, 12–27, 26–28, 22–27
Pts: Leavell, Sampson 28 each
Rebs: Rodney McCray 12
Asts: Allen Leavell 8
Pts: Clyde Drexler 32
Rebs: Porter, Johnson 8 each
Asts: Terry Porter 15
Series tied, 1–1
Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon
Attendance: 12,666
Referees: Joe Crawford, Bill Saar, Bennett Salvatore
April 28
Portland Trail Blazers 108, Houston Rockets 117
Scoring by quarter: 22–38, 23–32, 34–24, 29–23
Pts: Clyde Drexler 26
Rebs: Johnson, Jones 10 each
Asts: Terry Porter 8
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 35
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 11
Asts: Allen Leavell 13
Houston leads series, 2–1
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,279
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Mike Mathis, James Capers Sr.
April 30
Portland Trail Blazers 101, Houston Rockets 113
Scoring by quarter: 21–20, 30–41, 17–28, 33–24
Pts: Kiki VanDeWeghe 27
Rebs: Steve Johnson 12
Asts: Terry Porter 6
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 27
Rebs: McCray, Sampson 10 each
Asts: Allen Leavell 8
Houston wins series, 3–1
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,279
Referees: Darell Garretson, Ed Middleton, Bernie Fryer

This was the first playoff meeting between the Rockets and the Trail Blazers.

(4) Utah Jazz vs. (5) Golden State Warriors

April 23
Golden State Warriors 85, Utah Jazz 99
Scoring by quarter: 18–21, 23–32, 27–23, 17–23
Pts: Joe Barry Carroll 18
Rebs: Joe Barry Carroll 9
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 8
Pts: Malone, Bailey 20 each
Rebs: Mark Eaton 15
Asts: Rickey Green 15
Utah leads series, 1–0
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 11,376
Referees: Hugh Evans, Ed Middleton, Ronnie Nunn
April 25
Golden State Warriors 100, Utah Jazz 103
Scoring by quarter: 18–28, 28–35, 30–15, 24–25
Pts: Joe Barry Carroll 22
Rebs: Larry Smith 12
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 9
Pts: Darrell Griffith 25
Rebs: Karl Malone 13
Asts: Hansen, Stockton 5 each
Utah leads series, 2–0
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 12,095
April 29
Utah Jazz 95, Golden State Warriors 110
Scoring by quarter: 24–23, 20–32, 23–22, 28–33
Pts: Kelly Tripucka 16
Rebs: Karl Malone 9
Asts: John Stockton 8
Pts: Terry Teagle 30
Rebs: Larry Smith 17
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 8
Utah leads series, 2–1
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena, Oakland, California
Attendance: 15,025
Referees: Earl Strom, Bill Oakes, Bennett Salvatore
May 1
Utah Jazz 94, Golden State Warriors 98
Scoring by quarter: 22–25, 26–18, 26–25, 20–30
Pts: Hansen, Malone 20 each
Rebs: Mark Eaton 15
Asts: John Stockton 11
Pts: Purvis Short 32
Rebs: Larry Smith 8
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 11
Series tied, 2–2
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena, Oakland, California
Attendance: 15,025
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Hue Hollins, Tommy Nunez Sr.
May 3
Golden State Warriors 118, Utah Jazz 113
Scoring by quarter: 35–29, 32–22, 23–26, 28–36
Pts: Joe Barry Carroll 24
Rebs: Larry Smith 14
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 14
Pts: Karl Malone 23
Rebs: Mark Eaton 10
Asts: John Stockton 13
Golden State wins series, 3–2
Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, Utah
Attendance: 11,071
Referees: Jack Madden, Jess Kersey

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

Conference Semifinals

Eastern Conference Semifinals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (4) Milwaukee Bucks

May 5
Milwaukee Bucks 98, Boston Celtics 111
Scoring by quarter: 26–34, 29–31, 18–20, 25–26
Pts: Terry Cummings 28
Rebs: Terry Cummings 12
Asts: Paul Pressey 8
Pts: Larry Bird 40
Rebs: Robert Parish 12
Asts: Bird, Johnson 7 each
Boston leads series, 1–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Joe Crawford, Mike Mathis, Dick Bavetta
May 6
Milwaukee Bucks 124, Boston Celtics 126
Scoring by quarter: 27–25, 37–39, 31–36, 29–26
Pts: Terry Cummings 28
Rebs: Jack Sikma 14
Asts: Paul Pressey 6
Pts: Bird, Ainge 30 each
Rebs: Larry Bird 10
Asts: Dennis Johnson 10
Boston leads series, 2–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Ed Middleton, Hugh Evans, Jack Nies
May 8
Boston Celtics 121, Milwaukee Bucks 126 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 34–33, 24–29, 26–23, 30–29, Overtime: 7–12
Pts: Dennis Johnson 32
Rebs: Robert Parish 16
Asts: Dennis Johnson 14
Pts: John Lucas 30
Rebs: Terry Cummings 12
Asts: Paul Pressey 7
Boston leads series, 2–1
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Jack Madden, Bill Saar
May 10
Boston Celtics 138, Milwaukee Bucks 137 (2OT)
Scoring by quarter: 32–31, 32–34, 29–30, 24–22, Overtime: 10–10, 11–10
Pts: Larry Bird 42
Rebs: Kevin McHale 11
Asts: Dennis Johnson 12
Pts: Terry Cummings 31
Rebs: Terry Cummings 11
Asts: Paul Pressey 11
Boston leads series, 3–1
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Hue Hollins, Jess Kersey
May 13
Milwaukee Bucks 129, Boston Celtics 124
Scoring by quarter: 38–32, 27–34, 32–36, 32–22
Pts: Sidney Moncrief 33
Rebs: Sikma, Cummings 9 each
Asts: Paul Pressey 10
Pts: Robert Parish 30
Rebs: Robert Parish 16
Asts: Larry Bird 12
Boston leads series, 3–2
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Paul Mihalak, Jake O'Donnell
May 15
Boston Celtics 111, Milwaukee Bucks 121
Scoring by quarter: 36–27, 31–32, 24–31, 20–31
Pts: Dennis Johnson 25
Rebs: Kevin McHale 16
Asts: Dennis Johnson 14
Pts: Sidney Moncrief 34
Rebs: Terry Cummings 11
Asts: Paul Pressey 11
Series tied, 3–3
MECCA Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Attendance: 11,052
Referees: Earl Strom, Darell Garretson, Joe Crawford
May 17
Milwaukee Bucks 113, Boston Celtics 119
Scoring by quarter: 36–29, 23–27, 30–32, 24–31
Pts: Paul Pressey 28
Rebs: Jack Sikma 10
Asts: Paul Pressey 8
Pts: Larry Bird 31
Rebs: Robert Parish 19
Asts: Dennis Johnson 10
Boston wins series, 4–3
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Hugh Evans

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

(2) Atlanta Hawks vs. (3) Detroit Pistons

May 3
Detroit Pistons 112, Atlanta Hawks 111
Scoring by quarter: 27–26, 29–31, 29–28, 27–26
Pts: Isiah Thomas 30
Rebs: Dennis Rodman 10
Asts: Isiah Thomas 10
Pts: Kevin Willis 22
Rebs: Kevin Willis 10
Asts: Doc Rivers 14
Detroit leads series, 1–0
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 14,361
May 5
Detroit Pistons 102, Atlanta Hawks 115
Scoring by quarter: 22–25, 26–31, 23–27, 31–32
Pts: Laimbeer, Thomas 20 each
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 12
Asts: Isiah Thomas 6
Pts: Randy Wittman 34
Rebs: Kevin Willis 10
Asts: Doc Rivers 14
Series tied, 1–1
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 16,522
Referees: Darell Garretson, Bennett Salvatore, Jack Nies
May 8
Atlanta Hawks 99, Detroit Pistons 108
Scoring by quarter: 23–25, 18–16, 34–44, 24–23
Pts: Kevin Willis 26
Rebs: Kevin Willis 12
Asts: Doc Rivers 8
Pts: Isiah Thomas 35
Rebs: Dennis Rodman 9
Asts: Isiah Thomas 8
Detroit leads series, 2–1
Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Attendance: 24,544
Referees: Hue Hollins, Hugh Evans, Ed Middleton
May 10
Atlanta Hawks 88, Detroit Pistons 89
Scoring by quarter: 19–17, 21–23, 23–29, 25–20
Pts: Wilkins, Battle 19 each
Rebs: Dominique Wilkins 12
Asts: Doc Rivers 7
Pts: Isiah Thomas 31
Rebs: Rick Mahorn 17
Asts: Joe Dumars 5
Detroit leads series, 3–1
Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Attendance: 17,269
Referees: Earl Strom, Ed Middleton
  • Isiah Thomas makes the game-winning layup with 1 second left.
May 13
Detroit Pistons 104, Atlanta Hawks 96
Scoring by quarter: 24–22, 18–29, 23–26, 39–19
Pts: Joe Dumars 21
Rebs: Rick Mahorn 16
Asts: Isiah Thomas 12
Pts: Dominique Wilkins 26
Rebs: Dominique Wilkins 12
Asts: Doc Rivers 15
Detroit wins series, 4–1
Omni Coliseum, Atlanta, Georgia
Attendance: 16,522
Referees: Jack Madden, Mike Mathis, Bill Oakes

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

Western Conference Semifinals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (5) Golden State Warriors

May 5
Golden State Warriors 116, Los Angeles Lakers 125
Scoring by quarter: 29–30, 33–25, 23–49, 31–21
Pts: Joe Barry Carroll 22
Rebs: Larry Smith 7
Asts: Larry Smith 11
Pts: James Worthy 28
Rebs: Magic Johnson 12
Asts: Magic Johnson 14
LA Lakers lead series, 1–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
May 7
Golden State Warriors 101, Los Angeles Lakers 116
Scoring by quarter: 25–32, 26–26, 27–27, 23–31
Pts: Joe Barry Carroll 22
Rebs: Larry Smith 13
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 12
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 25
Rebs: three players 8 each
Asts: Michael Cooper 12
LA Lakers lead series, 2–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Darell Garretson, Bill Oakes, John Vanak
May 9
Los Angeles Lakers 133, Golden State Warriors 108
Scoring by quarter: 38–24, 35–32, 30–30, 30–22
Pts: James Worthy 28
Rebs: Mychal Thompson 12
Asts: Magic Johnson 14
Pts: Joe Barry Carroll 23
Rebs: Larry Smith 15
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 12
LA Lakers lead series, 3–0
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena, Oakland, California
Attendance: 15,025
Referees: Joe Crawford, Mike Mathis, Paul Mihalak
May 10
Los Angeles Lakers 121, Golden State Warriors 129
Scoring by quarter: 34–27, 31–30, 37–31, 19–41
Pts: Byron Scott 28
Rebs: A. C. Green 12
Asts: Michael Cooper 10
Pts: Sleepy Floyd 51
Rebs: Larry Smith 16
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 10
LA Lakers lead series, 3–1
Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum Arena, Oakland, California
Attendance: 15,025
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Paul Mihalak, John Vanak
  • Sleepy Floyd's record 39-point 2nd half and 29-point 4th quarter.
May 12
Golden State Warriors 106, Los Angeles Lakers 118
Scoring by quarter: 29–32, 23–33, 25–34, 29–19
Pts: Purvis Short 20
Rebs: Larry Smith 23
Asts: Sleepy Floyd 11
Pts: James Worthy 23
Rebs: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 9
Asts: Magic Johnson 13
LA Lakers win series, 4–1
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Earl Strom, Hue Hollins, Tommy Nunez Sr.

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

(6) Houston Rockets vs. (7) Seattle SuperSonics

May 2
Seattle SuperSonics 111, Houston Rockets 106 (OT)
Scoring by quarter: 25–26, 24–22, 28–25, 20–24Overtime: 14–9
Pts: Dale Ellis 34
Rebs: Tom Chambers 9
Asts: Nate McMillan 8
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 28
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 16
Asts: Rodney McCray 8
Seattle leads series, 1–0
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,279
Referees: Hugh Evans, Dick Bavetta, Bill Saar
May 5
Seattle SuperSonics 99, Houston Rockets 97
Scoring by quarter: 28–21, 24–27, 18–31, 29–18
Pts: Dale Ellis 30
Rebs: Dale Ellis 9
Asts: Eddie Johnson 8
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 27
Rebs: Olajuwon, Sampson 13 each
Asts: Leavell, McCray 8 each
Seattle leads series, 2–0
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,279
Referees: Earl Strom, Paul Mihalak, Tommy Nunez Sr.
May 7
Houston Rockets 102, Seattle SuperSonics 84
Scoring by quarter: 29–20, 27–13, 19–24, 27–27
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 33
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 11
Asts: Robert Reid 9
Pts: Tom Chambers 24
Rebs: Dale Ellis 10
Asts: McMillan, Young 4 each
Seattle leads series, 2–1
May 9
Houston Rockets 102, Seattle SuperSonics 117
Scoring by quarter: 31–31, 24–31, 24–24, 23–31
Pts: McCray, Olajuwon 20 each
Rebs: Rodney McCray 12
Asts: Allen Leavell 5
Pts: Tom Chambers 38
Rebs: Alton Lister 17
Asts: Nate McMillan 10
Seattle leads series, 3–1
Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 14,559
Referees: John Vanak, Darell Garretson, Bill Oakes
May 12
Seattle SuperSonics 107, Houston Rockets 112
Scoring by quarter: 22–35, 34–31, 30–23, 21–23
Pts: Dale Ellis 27
Rebs: Tom Chambers 9
Asts: Eddie Johnson 6
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 26
Rebs: Rodney McCray 10
Asts: Rodney McCray 11
Seattle leads series, 3–2
The Summit, Houston, Texas
Attendance: 16,279
Referees: Jess Kersey, Joe Crawford, Dick Bavetta
May 14
Houston Rockets 125, Seattle SuperSonics 128 (2OT)
Scoring by quarter: 28–36, 30–18, 26–24, 23–29Overtime: 8–8, 10–13
Pts: Hakeem Olajuwon 49
Rebs: Hakeem Olajuwon 25
Asts: Robert Reid 12
Pts: Tom Chambers 37
Rebs: Xavier McDaniel 12
Asts: Nate McMillan 16
Seattle wins series, 4–2
Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 14,751
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Hugh Evans, Hue Hollins

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

Conference Finals

Eastern Conference Finals

(1) Boston Celtics vs. (3) Detroit Pistons

May 19
Detroit Pistons 91, Boston Celtics 104
Scoring by quarter: 22–26, 18–18, 28–31, 23–29
Pts: Isiah Thomas 18
Rebs: Rick Mahorn 11
Asts: Isiah Thomas 10
Pts: Robert Parish 31
Rebs: Larry Bird 16
Asts: Larry Bird 11
Boston leads series, 1–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Joe Crawford, Paul Mihalak
May 21
Detroit Pistons 101, Boston Celtics 110
Scoring by quarter: 23–32, 36–22, 22–28, 20–28
Pts: Isiah Thomas 36
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 16
Asts: Bill Laimbeer 17
Pts: Larry Bird 31
Rebs: Bird, Parish 9 each
Asts: Larry Bird 12
Boston leads series, 2–0
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Earl Strom, Bill Saar, Hue Hollins
May 23
Boston Celtics 104, Detroit Pistons 122
Scoring by quarter: 28–37, 25–36, 28–20, 23–29
Pts: Sam Vincent 18
Rebs: Larry Bird 11
Asts: Dennis Johnson 8
Pts: Adrian Dantley 25
Rebs: Rick Mahorn 12
Asts: Vinnie Johnson 8
Boston leads series, 2–1
Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Attendance: 23,525
Referees: Darell Garretson, Hue Hollins
May 24
Boston Celtics 119, Detroit Pistons 145
Scoring by quarter: 25–31, 33–31, 30–42, 31–41
Pts: Sam Vincent 18
Rebs: Kevin McHale 9
Asts: Sam Vincent 7
Pts: Adrian Dantley 32
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 13
Asts: Thomas, Dumars 8 each
Series tied, 2–2
May 26
Detroit Pistons 107, Boston Celtics 108
Scoring by quarter: 29–38, 27–20, 29–28, 22–22
Pts: Adrian Dantley 25
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 14
Asts: Isiah Thomas 11
Pts: Larry Bird 36
Rebs: Larry Bird 12
Asts: Larry Bird 9
Boston leads series, 3–2
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Jack Madden, Jess Kersey
May 28
Boston Celtics 105, Detroit Pistons 113
Scoring by quarter: 33–31, 22–27, 28–26, 22–29
Pts: Larry Bird 35
Rebs: Kevin McHale 12
Asts: Dennis Johnson 11
Pts: Dantley, V. Johnson 24 each
Rebs: Rick Mahorn 18
Asts: Isiah Thomas 9
Series tied, 3–3
Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan
Attendance: 28,383
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Joe Crawford, Bill Saar
May 30
Detroit Pistons 114, Boston Celtics 117
Scoring by quarter: 31–24, 25–31, 24–26, 34–36
Pts: Joe Dumars 35
Rebs: Bill Laimbeer 13
Asts: Isiah Thomas 9
Pts: Larry Bird 37
Rebs: Robert Parish 11
Asts: Dennis Johnson 11
Boston wins series, 4–3
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Darell Garretson, Earl Strom

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

Western Conference Finals

(1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (7) Seattle SuperSonics

May 16
Seattle SuperSonics 87, Los Angeles Lakers 92
Scoring by quarter: 25–27, 17–24, 30–26, 15–15
Pts: Tom Chambers 28
Rebs: McDaniel, Lister 10 each
Asts: Nate McMillan 8
Pts: James Worthy 27
Rebs: Magic Johnson 7
Asts: Magic Johnson 11
LA Lakers lead series, 1–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Jack Madden, Mike Mathis, Ed Middleton
May 19
Seattle SuperSonics 104, Los Angeles Lakers 112
Scoring by quarter: 29–32, 26–24, 22–27, 27–29
Pts: Dale Ellis 22
Rebs: Xavier McDaniel 8
Asts: Nate McMillan 7
Pts: James Worthy 30
Rebs: A. C. Green 14
Asts: Magic Johnson 10
LA Lakers lead series, 2–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
May 23
Los Angeles Lakers 122, Seattle SuperSonics 121
Scoring by quarter: 36–32, 28–26, 33–28, 25–35
Pts: James Worthy 39
Rebs: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 10
Asts: Magic Johnson 11
Pts: Xavier McDaniel 42
Rebs: Xavier McDaniel 10
Asts: Nate McMillan 15
LA Lakers lead series, 3–0
Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 14,657
Referees: Jess Kersey, Paul Mihalak, John Vanak
May 25
Los Angeles Lakers 133, Seattle SuperSonics 102
Scoring by quarter: 39–28, 29–19, 32–30, 33–25
Pts: James Worthy 26
Rebs: A. C. Green 13
Asts: Magic Johnson 12
Pts: Tom Chambers 20
Rebs: Alton Lister 20
Asts: Kevin Williams 5
LA Lakers win series, 4–0
Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington
Attendance: 14,477
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Joe Crawford

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

NBA Finals: (W1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (E1) Boston Celtics

June 2
Boston Celtics 113, Los Angeles Lakers 126
Scoring by quarter: 26–35, 28–34, 31–32, 28–25
Pts: Larry Bird 32
Rebs: Larry Bird 7
Asts: Dennis Johnson 13
Pts: James Worthy 33
Rebs: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 10
Asts: Magic Johnson 13
LA Lakers lead series, 1–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Hugh Evans
June 4
Boston Celtics 122, Los Angeles Lakers 141
Scoring by quarter: 34–38, 22–37, 36–32, 30–34
Pts: Larry Bird 23
Rebs: Robert Parish 14
Asts: Dennis Johnson 9
Pts: Byron Scott 24
Rebs: Johnson, Rambis 5 each
Asts: Magic Johnson 20
LA Lakers lead series, 2–0
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Ed T. Rush, Jack Madden
June 7
Los Angeles Lakers 103, Boston Celtics 109
Scoring by quarter: 29–22, 27–38, 22–26, 25–23
Pts: Magic Johnson 32
Rebs: Magic Johnson 11
Asts: Magic Johnson 9
Pts: Larry Bird 30
Rebs: Larry Bird 12
Asts: Ainge, McHale 5 each
LA Lakers lead series, 2–1
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Darrell Garretson, Joe Crawford
June 9
Los Angeles Lakers 107, Boston Celtics 106
Scoring by quarter: 22–29, 25–26, 31–30, 29–21
Pts: Magic Johnson 29
Rebs: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 11
Asts: Cooper, Johnson 5 each
Pts: Kevin McHale 25
Rebs: Kevin McHale 13
Asts: Dennis Johnson 14
LA Lakers lead series, 3–1
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Earl Strom, Hugh Evans
  • Magic Johnson hits the game-winning "Baby-Hook" with 2 seconds left.
June 11
Los Angeles Lakers 108, Boston Celtics 123
Scoring by quarter: 25–25, 23–38, 29–33, 31–27
Pts: Magic Johnson 29
Rebs: Magic Johnson 8
Asts: Magic Johnson 12
Pts: Dennis Johnson 25
Rebs: Kevin McHale 14
Asts: Dennis Johnson 11
LA Lakers lead series, 3–2
Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 14,890
Referees: Jake O'Donnell, Ed T. Rush
June 14
Boston Celtics 93, Los Angeles Lakers 106
Scoring by quarter: 32–25, 24–26, 12–30, 25–25
Pts: Dennis Johnson 33
Rebs: Johnson, McHale 10 each
Asts: Danny Ainge 6
Pts: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 32
Rebs: Mychal Thompson 9
Asts: Magic Johnson 19
LA Lakers win series, 4–2
The Forum, Inglewood, California
Attendance: 17,505
Referees: Darell Garretson, Joe Crawford

This was the tenth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Celtics winning eight of the first nine meetings.

External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1987 NBA playoffs, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.