Steinmetz: Mullin's memorable 41 vs. L.A.

August 12, 2011, 7:51 pm
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Aug. 12, 2011


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Matt Steinmetz

When Chris Mullin scored 41 points -- on 16-for-21 shooting -- to lead the Warriors to a 125-124 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals in 1991, long-time and legendary announcer Chick Hearn called it the greatest exhibition of shooting he'd ever seen.As is usually the case with Mullin, there's a story behind that game.
Lost in Mullin's incredible shooting performance was the fact that he almost didn't play in the game at all. Mullin had injured his right knee in the previous series -- against San Antonio -- and had missed Game 1 against the Lakers.RELATED: Chris Mullin elected to Basketball Hall of Fame
He was expected to miss Game 2. But Mullin had other plans. So the night before the game, Mullin, athletic development coach Mark Grabow and athletic trainer Tom Abdenour headed out to test Mullin's knee. The threesome didn't quite sneak into the gym that night, but the probably would have if they needed to."We drove to the (Great Western) Forum, and there was a security guard sitting at the gate," said Grabow. "He recognized Chris so he let us in. The Forum had just one little light that was on above the court, but it was still pretty dark. So there he was, working out, getting shots up in a dark, empty Forum, with nobody around."RELATED: Mark Jackson says Chris Mullin was a 'bad man'
Said Abdenour: "I want to say the only lights that were on were the emergency lights and maybe a light or two on the shot clock. He started firing of 'Js,' planting on the knee, cutting. And the next night was simply amazing."Mullin proceeded to get shots up for about 45 minutes, worked up a good sweat and then announced to Grabow and Abdenour he was ready. Mullin wore a knee brace during the game and told teammate Mitch Richmond before the game that it felt uncomfortable.RELATED: Why Mullin was the ultimate gym rat
That might have been the case with Mullin's right knee. But his left arm was completely healthy.

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