Henderson stole the ball; Russell, Bonham, Robinson born

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On this day in Boston Celtics history, champion Boston point guard Gerald Henderson stole a pass lobbed across the court by forward James Worthy of the Los Angeles Lakers.

With just 13 seconds left on the clock in Game 2 of the 1984 NBA Finals and the Celtics down, 113-111, Henderson stole a pass and ended up scoring on a layup. The basket ultimately sent the game into overtime when legendary forward Magic Johnson inexplicably dribbled out the game’s final seconds. The historic steal ignited the Celtics’ critical 124-121 win after they had dropped Game 1 of the series at home.

Forward Larry Bird later said the team might have been swept by Los Angeles if not for the timely steal. While Boston lost Game 3 of the series, it won the series in seven games to secure its 15th banner, then the most in league history.

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On this day, Boston’s first coach, John “Honey” Russell was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1902.

Russell had a long career as a player and player-coach before being recruited to join the Celtics in their inaugural season (1946-47) in which they logged an unimpressive 22-38 record.

The following season, Russell’s last before returning to Seton Hall to coach their collegiate basketball program, Boston recorded a 20-28 record, good enough for a postseason berth in that era.

It is also the birthday of former Celtics small forward Ron Bonham, who played for the Celtics for two seasons, winning titles in both 1965 and 1966.

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Selected 16th in the 1964 NBA draft out of Cincinnati, the Indiana native averaged 6.3 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists with the team before being taken by the Chicago Bulls in the 1966 expansion draft.

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Ex-Celtic reserve point guard Nate Robinson was born today in Seattle, Washington in 1984.

Robinson joined the team after being traded from the New York Knicks in 2010, coming along with Marcus Landry in exchange for J.R. Giddens, Eddie House, Henry Walker, and draft assets.

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The Washingtonian played for Boston for parts of two seasons, averaging 6.9 points, 1.6 boards and 1.9 assists.

He was traded with Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstić, cash and draft considerations.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

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