May 27, 1985. 34-years ago to the day, the Boston Celtics opened their NBA title defense with a dominating 148-114 series-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers. The 34-point drubbing — in which came to be known as the “Memorial Day massacre” — was one of the most lopsided in the Lakers-Celtics rivalry, and was led by a 6’7 former Colorado Buffaloes swingman that came off the bench.
From 1971-74, Scott Wedman played in 75 games for the Sox Walseth led Buffaloes and scored 1,251 points, which ranks 22nd in school history. During his final two seasons in Boulder, Wedman led the Buffaloes in scoring and rebounding en route to earning All-Big Eight Conference honors. Following his career at CU, Wedman was selected sixth overall by the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in the 1974 NBA Draft; just the second Buffaloes player, at the time, to be drafted in the first round. To date, only Chauncey Billups — the third overall pick by the Celtics in 1997 — has been drafted higher.
Over the course of 13 seasons in the NBA with Kansas City, then Cleveland and Boston, Wedman played in 906 games, was a two-time all-star (1976 and 1980) and averaged 13.2 points per game. He also played in 85 playoff games with a 10.4 scoring average and won two rings with the Celtics.
His most memorable postseason outing came on May 27, 1985 at the Boston Garden.
Staked to a 38-24 first quarter lead behind the hot shooting of Danny Ainge, Wedman entered the game in the second quarter. “My first shot didn’t feel good when I released it, but it went in and I knew immediately that I was going to have a good game.” Wedman said years later in an interview with author Michael D. McClellan.
Over the next three periods, he proceeded to put on a performance for the ages. The sharpshooter, who often spelled reigning NBA MVP Larry Bird during the 1984-’85 season, came off the bench and was a perfect 11-for-11 on his field goal attempts, including four-of-four from three-point range. “If I’d learned anything from the previous season, it was that I needed to be prepared to contribute when my number was called.” Contribute he did.
Wedman played just 23 minutes, yet tallied a game-high 26 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. The 148 points scored by the Celtics against the Lakers remain the most ever by a team in an NBA Finals game. All five Celtics starters finished in double figures that day, but it was a bench player, a former Colorado Buffaloes star that stole the show.