Best Memorial Day Sports Moments

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. It also happens to fall on the sports calendar in the middle of the MLB season, NHL playoffs, and NBA playoffs. You can bet on these sports on Memorial Day this year at the best sports betting sites, and hopefully you can enjoy a great moment or two.

With that in mind, here’s a look back at some of the best Memorial Day sports moments.

1985: The Memorial Day Massacre

The Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals in seven games and the two teams met again in the 1985 NBA Finals. Game 1 was held on Memorial Day, the Celtics setting an NBA record for points in an NBA Finals game (148) as well as points in a half (79), in a 148-114 win. This game has been dubbed the “Memorial Day Massacre”. However, the Lakers eventually bounced back to win the 1985 NBA series and championship.

It should be noted that the last game of the NBA Finals played on Memorial Day was the following year, in 1986. It was a 112-100 Game 1 win for the Celtics over the Houston Rockets, with Boston winning that series, 4-2, winning the third Larry O’Brien Trophy of the Larry Bird era.

Michael “Memorial Day” Jordan: 1991, 1993 and 1996

Michael Jordan has had many notable playoff accomplishments, so it’s no surprise that he’s also behind three of Memorial Day’s top performances. Memorial Day 1991 marked the date the Jordan’s Bulls finally defeated the “Bad Boy” Pistons. After losing to Detroit in each of the previous three playoffs, Jordan scored 29 points in a 115-94 victory that completed an emphatic series sweep for the first of his six NBA titles.

MJ was back in the spotlight on Memorial Day 1993, scoring 54 points in a 115-94 win over the New York Knicks to tie their Eastern Conference Finals streak at two games apiece. Chicago won that series, 4-2, en route to a third straight NBA title.

Arguably Jordan’s most memorable Memorial Day game came in 1996. Led by its 45 points, the Bulls finished a sweep of the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals in a game that also scored Shaquille O’Neal’s last game in an Orlando uniform.

2006: Nadal breaks the clay court record

In 2006, Rafael Nadal beat Robin Soderling, 6-2, 7-5, 6-1, in the first round of Roland-Garros. It was Nadal’s 54th straight victory on clay, breaking a tie with Guillermo Vilas for the most of all time. The king of clay won his second French Open title that year; Nadal now has 14 and continues to count.

Another great Memorial Day tennis moment happened at Roland Garros in 1997. 16-year-old Venus Williams made her Grand Slam debut beating Naoko Sawamatsu, 6-2, 6-7(2) , 7-5.

1977: Eckersley’s Excellent Memorial Day

Dennis Eckersley carved his name into the baseball record books on Memorial Day 1977 by throwing a no-hitter against the California Angels. The future Hall of Famer struck out 12 and walked just one in his masterful performance for the Cleveland Indians.

1951: Mays hits his first career MLB home run

Playing in his fourth MLB game, Willie Mays hit his first career home run for the New York Giants on Memorial Day 1951 against the Milwaukee Braves. Mays finished his legendary career with 660 homers, which ranks him sixth all-time.

2018: Golden Knights defy Vegas betting odds

Back to a more modern Memorial Day moment, the Vegas Golden Knights exceeded even the most optimistic expectations in the expansion franchise’s first season in the NHL. The Golden Knights made it to the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.

Vegas would win Game 1 over the Washington Capitals on Memorial Day 2018 by a score of 6-4. It turned out to be the Golden Knights’ only victory in the series, as Alex Ovechkin led the Capitals to a win in five games to win the Stanley Cup.

You had to be in Vegas to bet on the Golden Knights back then, but with the subsequent expansion of mobile sports betting, you can now use sports betting apps to bet on current Golden Knights Stanley Cup odds.

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