May 22, 1988 Dominique Wilkins and Larry Bird traded bucket for bucket in the fourth quarter of Game 7 of the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals until Boston escaped with a 118-116 victory. Wilkins finished with 47 points and Bird had 34 -- with 20 of his points tallied in the fourth quarter. “The basket was like a well,” remembered Wilkins. “I couldn’t miss. He couldn’t miss. That’s the greatest game I’ve ever played in or seen played. It was two guys who just did not want to lose.” The teams shot a combined .588 percent from the field, the second highest mark in playoff history.
May 22, 1994 Toronto, scheduled to enter the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1995-96, unveiled Raptors as the team’s nickname.
May 23, 1975 Golden State notched an NBA Finals game record 17 steals during their 109-101 victory over Washington in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
May 23, 1976 Boston center Dave Cowens dominated the opener of the NBA Finals against Phoenix with a 25-point, 21-rebound performance as the Celtics defeated the Suns, 98-87. Boston eventually took its 13th NBA title in six games.
May 23, 1978 Portland center Bill Walton was named the NBA’s MVP for the 1977-78 season. Walton led his club to a 50-10 record before succumbing to multiple foot injuries, playing in 58 games and averaging 18.9 ppg and 13.2 rpg.
May 23, 1982 The Philadelphia 76ers, after leading Boston three games to one only to have the Celtics draw even, invaded Boston Garden and came away with a 120-106 win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. “Beat L.A!” was the chant that resounded through Boston Garden late in the game. Although the Sixers were beating their beloved team, Boston fans wanted anyone to beat the Los Angeles Lakers. It didn’t happen, though, as the Lakers beat the Sixers in six games for the NBA title.
May 23, 2002 The NBDL established new league offices in Greenville, S.C.