Hurricanes 55-32 (1-5)
Stars 81-5 (5-1)
|Score (click for boxscore)||Game MVP||Hi Points||Hi Rebounds||Hi Assists|
|1. Hurricanes 129, Stars 123||Kevin McHale||48 Kevin McHale||17 Jack Sikma||13 Magic Johnson|
|2. Stars 117, Hurricanes 94||Doc Rivers||26 Magic Johnson||21 Michael Cage||9 A.Leavell/A.Robertson|
|3. Stars 121, Hurricanes 110||Magic Johnson||26 Magic Johnson||18 Jerome Kersey||9 Allen Leavell|
|4. Stars 128, Hurricanes 120||Magic Johnson||29 Jeff Malone||16 Patrick Ewing||12 Allen Leavell|
|5. Stars 129, Hurricanes 125||Magic Johnson||39 Magic Johnson||10 K.McHale/R.McCray||10 D.Valentine|
Game 1 – The Mount Dora Hurricanes were the first of five teams to defeat the defending champions during the regular season. They won 104-99 at Milwaukee Arena on November 4th. Kevin McHale topped the ‘Canes with 24 points as their 34-29 fourth quarter provided the margin of victory. Patrick Ewing led the Stars with 20 points. Coach Roeglin was confident his squad could keep up with Fresno in a 7-game playoff series. It certainly didn’t look like it was going to be a contest at all as Magic Johnson scored 7 points in the first 4 minutes and the champs were up 17-4. The Hurricanes didn’t roll over and came back to trail only 35-26 after one. McHale had 13 for the guests and Doc Rivers tallied 10 for FRS. MDH scored the first 3 buckets of the 2nd quarter to pull within 3, then it was “Showtime” for the Stars, with Magic leading the fast break on a 21-6 run and an 18-point lead. The Hurricanes manufactured a 10-2 spree late in the half to trail 67-54 as they headed into their locker room. Jack Sikma had 12 points and Magic had 9 in the 2nd frame for their respective teams. The 3rd period featured the Stars pulling out to an 18-point advantage late, before Mt. Dora was able to reclaim 3 points and head to the 4th trailing by 15. Everyone in the arena thought Fresno would waltz thru the final period to a game one victory; everyone except the Hurricanes. Fresno had dominated almost every stat during the first 36 minutes except shooting percentage (steals 13-2, blocks 4-2, assists 25-21, turnovers 6-19), so Mt. Dora switched to a half-court trap and it paid dividends. Allen Leavell heated up in the early moments, making a 3, drawing the foul and converting the freebie for a 4-point play. He drove to the hoop and scored again within a minute, leading the way for the Hurricanes to pull within two at 101-99. Halfway thru the 4th, Fresno was up 108-105 when McHale and gang went on another 10-2 run to take a 115-110 lead. You could hear a pin drop in Milwaukee Arena, the champs’ faithful were absolutely stunned. It was still a 3-point game heading into the final minute. Mount Dora’s last 8 points came by making free throws and they held on to upset the Stars in game one, 129-123. For the 4th, MDH sizzled at 76% (16-21 FGA) while holding FRS to 38% (9-24). They played the Stars’ takeaway game, swiping the ball from the home team 6 times while committing only 3 turnovers. Magic Johnson was held scoreless in the 4th and managed only 2 points in the 2nd half. There was no answer for McHale who racked up 48 points on 20-26 shooting. He was 8-9 from the line and had 7 rebounds. Sikma fouled out with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Rivers had 21 to lead the Stars. Ewing tallied 20 points and 13 boards. Magic was 7-17 from the field for 18 points to go with his 13 dimes.
Game 2 – The Fresno Stars made some defensive adjustments in how they guarded Kevin McHale. It appeared to work very early as Kevin got his 2nd foul before 3 minutes had cleared the clock. With Jack Sikma getting his second foul near the one minute mark, the Hurricanes found themselves without their two starting big men for over 3/4 the first. Jerome Kersey scored 11 points to lead the Stars’ attack to a 35-24 advantage after one. Mark Iavaroni, yes Mark Iavaroni, topped Mt. Dora with 8. McHale played smarter in the 2nd period, scoring 9 points and keeping his team close (29-31) to FRS. Sikma on the other hand, didn’t even last one minute, so the only stat he had sitting in the lockers at half time was 3 fouls. Doc Rivers’ 10 points led the Stars in the 2nd. MDH scored 10 of the 2nd half’s first 14 points to pull within 7. They felt extremely lucky, given all the first half woes, to find themselves still in the game. Joe Watkins called timeout and got in his squad’s faces and they responded by outscoring the visitors 30-14 the remainder of the period including 11 unanswered points before Allen Leavell drove to the hoop and scored at the buzzer. Mt. Dora scored the first bucket of the 4th, then Fresno rolled off 9 straight to build their biggest lead at 109-79. Magic Johnson scored 9 of Fresno’s 17 fourth period points as they won game two 117-94. Rivers was named game MVP with 25 points and 5 assists. Johnson scored 26 to go with 5 boards and 5 dimes. Michael Cage had 17 points and 21 rebounds. McHale finished with a team-high 17 points, well below his playoff average of 38.3. Iavaroni, making only his 2nd appearance of this post-season, tied his career-high of 16 points (1981-82 regular season). The series shifts to Milwaukee Arena with the teams tied at one.
Game 3 – Fresno’s double team of Kevin McHale worked in the first quarter, limiting him to one point. However, Fresno only led by one point after the first, 30-29. The teams played to a 30-30 draw in the second quarter. McHale started to heat up, scoring 8 points in the quarter, and Fresno countered with a balanced attack. The teams went to halftime with the Stars leading 60-59. In the third, Fresno gained a small advantage, outscoring Mount Dora 31-25, to lead 91-84 heading into the fourth. The Stars kept their momentum going, taking the fourth quarter 30-26 to get a hard-fought 121-110 win. In the second half, Magic led Fresno with 16 points, while McHale was held to just 2 points. John Williams and Jeff Malone scored 21 and 29 points apiece for the Hurricanes; Patrick Ewing added 21 for the Stars. Magic was named MVP with 26 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds.
Game 4 – Again, Fresno double teamed Kevin McHale, figuring if Jeff Malone, Mount Dora’s other top gun, could beat them, then they’ll just tip their hat to them. Well, Malone was all too happy to take the invitation, powering the Hurricanes with 10 points to a 38-28 lead after one. Malone continued to lead Mount Dora in scoring through the 2nd and 3rd periods, leading the Hurricanes to a 95-76 advantage heading into the fourth. Fresno slowly reduced the lead to 107-94 with 7:18 left in the game. Then, in the next 2 minutes, Fresno scored 10 unanswered points, leaving the score at 107-104 for the Hurricanes. Fresno kept its momentum going from there, taking the lead for good at the 3:00 mark on the way to outscoring Mount Dora 52-25 in the fourth to escape with a 128-120 win. In the fourth, Fresno was led by Patrick Ewing’s 14 points and Magic’s 10. Jeff Malone finished the game with 29 points, leading the Hurricanes in scoring in every quarter. Kevin McHale only played 21 minutes, scoring 8 before fouling out.
Game 5 – Terry Catledge came off the bench to lead Mount Dora in the first quarter with 9 points. Jerome Kersey had 9 for Fresno as the teams played to a 32-31 score in favor of the guests. Kevin McHale got going in the 2nd period, scoring 14 points and leading the ‘Canes to a 68-58 advantage heading into the lockers at the half. Magic Johnson tallied 15 points in the 3rd quarter, but the Stars only managed to cut into the lead by a point and headed to the 4th on the short end of a 95-86 score. Fresno wasted no time in the 4th, opening the frame on a 16-8 run to make it 103-102 MDH. The game stayed close with both teams taking leads until 2:38 to go when Mt. Dora was ahead 123-122. Magic had a bucket and a pair of free tosses to put FRS up by 3. With 42 seconds left, Catledge got into the low post, faked and did a spin move, scored and drew a foul on Magic. But, he missed the free throw that would have knotted the game at 126 and Fresno got the ball quickly to Patrick Ewing who hit a jumper. Jeff Malone missed a fadeaway with 21 ticks left and the Hurricanes were forced to foul Ewing, who hit one FT. McHale then tried to get the ball to Malone for a trey, but Ewing got in the way and made his 7th steal of the ballgame. The Fresno Stars overcame a 12-point deficit to advance to their 3rd consecutive VBA Finals. They’re trying to be only the 2nd franchise (Rocky Mountain is the first) to win back-to-back championships. McHale scored 33 points with 10 rebounds to lead MDH. He finishes his playoff run with a 29.9 average. Catledge came out of nowhere in this game, scoring 28 of his playoff total of 63 points(9 games). Ewing finished with 23 points, 9 boards, 6 assists and 2 blocks to go with his impressive steals total. Kersey added 22 points. Magic Johnson earned game MVP with 39 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds. He repeated his 1985-86 feat of being named Eastern Conference Finals MVP with a 26.0 scoring average, 8.4 assists per game, 6.0 rebounds per contest and 2.0 steal average.