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Bill Laimbeer Does the Little Things – 16 pts, Outlets, Diving, Charges, Karate Chopped in Face (1987.05.26)

Bill Laimbeer 16pts 14reb 6ast 2stl

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May 26, 1987 – Detroit Pistons forward Bill Laimbeer was within shouting distance of a triple-double in Game 5 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Finals. Laimbeer finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists in a heartbreaking 108-107 loss to the Boston Celtics.

As was typical of Laimbeer’s game, his impact was felt beyond the stat sheet, initiating the lion’s share of Pistons fast-break opportunities with swift outlet passes, providing walled up help defense inside, and even causing the typically even-keeled Robert Parish to lose his cool (culminating in Laimbeer absorbing numerous chops to the chops).

Game 5 is best known for Larry Bird’s late-game theatrics, when he literally stole a Pistons victory out of their hands when he picked off Isiah Thomas’ ill-advised pass and delivered it to Dennis Johnson for a game-winning layup with one second remaining (

The Pistons bounced back to win Game 6 at the Silverdome but ultimately dropped the series with a 117-114 loss two days later.

Better Footage of Laimbeer’s Altercation with Parish:



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