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Kyrie Irving Channels Inner Magic Johnson With Baby Sky Hook For The Win

Kyrie Irving's winning basket Sunday resembled Magic Johnson's in Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals

The circumstances were completely different. 

But you can't help but think back to Magic Johnson after watching Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving defeat the Denver Nuggets with a last-second sweeping baby hook shot in the lane. 

"Hell of a shot by Kyrie," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. "Give him all the credit."

It was a similar play to when Johnson broke the backs of the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals. He hit a running hook near the free throw line that gave the Lakers a 107-106 victory and a 3-1 lead in the series. 

“He’s the MVP of the league and made some awfully big plays out there,” Celtics All-Star Larry Bird said of Johnson after the game. “He made everything happen out there and made that one hook shot in the middle. You’re probably going to get beat on a skyhook, but you don’t expect it to be from Magic.”

The significance of the play is huge in the Bird-Magic rivalry. The Lakers went on to win that series. If it were tied at 2, things may have been different. Instead, Johnson holds a 5-3 advantage in titles won. 

Can you imagine the debate if they were tied at 4? The baby hook is perhaps the only reason Johnson receives more love in the G.O.A.T debate. At least Irving took us back to the `80s to relive that magical night in Garden. 

Shandel Richardson is the publisher of Back In The Day NBA. He can be reached at