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Published on Jun 9, 2010
Boston Garden. May 5, 1991
`I can't leave those guys out there all by themselves'
Injury-wracked, he was already deep into the autumn of his career. He had hit Indiana with a triple-double in Game 1 before checking into New England Baptist Hospital to go into traction for his aching back. And now, with 4:23 remaining in the second quarter of a deciding Game 5, he had stumbled going after a loose ball and had smacked his head against the hallowed parquet. "He's coming back in the second half, and they'll go crazy," Indiana coach Bob Hill warned his team. Right he was. Bird jogged through the runway, they indeed went crazy, and Bird took over the game, throwing in jumpers and post-ups while starting three fast breaks with rebounds and outlets. He finished with 30 points while shooting 12 for 14 on twos, and for sheer drama it was, and is, untoppable. "All I know is that they'll be talking about him for a hundred years," sighed Hill.
Larry: "When I hit the floor, I thought I broke my jaw, because I couldn't move my mouth. I was in a lot of pain, but I could hear the crowd out there and I thought, `I can't leave those guys out there all by themselves.' "