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Named most valuable player of the 1979 NBA Finals, leading the Seattle SuperSonics past the Washington Bullets in five games. Johnson averaged 22.6 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.8 steals, and 2.2 blocks in the series.

Earned his lone All-NBA first-team selection in 1980-81, averaging 18.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game while guiding the Phoenix Suns to the Pacific Division title in his first season with the team.

Acquired by the Celtics from Phoenix June 27, 1983, in exchange for center Rick Robey.

Hit buzzer-beating jumper in Game 4 of the 1985 NBA Finals against the Lakers in Los Angeles to tie the series, 2-2. The Lakers, however, won the title in six games.

In Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals with the Celtics trailing Detroit by a point and four seconds remaining, Larry Bird stole Isiah Thomas's lazy inbounds pass. Johnson, at midcourt when the play began, made a cut to the basket and scored the winning hoop. The Celtics went on to win the series in seven games, but fell to the Lakers in the NBA Finals.