5.21.2019

C's Topple Sixers

April 21, 1980

CELTICS PUT UP A GREAT FRONT, CATCH SIXERS

Yeah, maybe there might have been something worse than going down to Philadelphia trailing the 76ers, two games to none. The Celtics could have volunteered to shoot rapids in a plastic raft purchased at the church fair, for example. Absolutely nobody in Boston wished to contemplate getting two-down in this series, and now the worrying has ceased. Bill Fitch attached his hopes, and those of 15,320 Garden followers, to a five-man nucleus yesterday afternoon, and Boston's answer to the Fabulous Five provided him with a 96-90 decision over the Philadelphia club. The Eastern Conference final series is now tied at one game apiece, with the third game coming up on Wednesday night at the Spectrum.

5.20.2019

Robey is Sub-perb

April 21, 1980

CELTICS NOTEBOOK ONCE HE GOT THE CHANCE, ROBEY PROVED SUB-PERB

Bill Fitch might not have substituted very much yesterday, but he did make one valuable substitution that had a great impact on the outcome of the game with the 76ers. Things weren't going especially well with 6:52 remaining in the third period. The 76ers had chopped a 15-point lead down to two at 62-60, and they were doing a decent job inside. Fitch inserted Rick Robey, who had only played for 1:17 in the first half, and who hadn't been used much in the first game either, for Cedric Maxwell.

5.19.2019

Celtics Close Out Rockets

April 15, 1980

ROCKETS TRIED TO RUN, BUT CELTICS RAN THEM DOWN INSTEAD

The Houston Rockets turned in desperation to a running game against the Celtics last night, and that's exactly how the Celtics made them look in the fourth and final game of this best-of-seven playoff series - desperate. Counting the regular season, the Celtics beat the Rockets 10 straight times, but not until last night did the Rockets attempt to run with them.

5.18.2019

Celtics have Rockets Number

April 10, 1980

CELTICS CONTINUE HEX OVER ROCKETS

The record is 0 wins, and lots of losses....and nobody has to tell the Houston Rockets why they have been unable to beat the Celtics this season. "We're not nervous," said veteran Rocket guard Calvin Murphy. "This isn't our first playoff game. We've been at it for a week already.

5.17.2019

Sampson Chase is On

April 9, 1980

SAMPSON CHASE, AND WAIT, ARE ON

The gray-haired lady smiling from behind the car rental counter caught the Celtic logo glued to the side of the small leather bag with the first look. Then she matched it with the cigar stuffed in the mouth of the suddenly familiar face in front of her, and asked without hesitation: ”You're here to take Ralph away, aren't you? Can't say as I'd blame ya. Can't say if I were Ralph I wouldn't go either. Not for all that money."

5.16.2019

Examining the Playoffs

Examining the playoff series which begin tomorrow night:

1. BOSTON-HOUSTON

Regular Season - Boston 6, Houston 0

In his mind, Fitch does not see a regular-season series sweep. He sees three close games in Houston, all blown by the Rockets more than won by the Celtics. He sees two competitive Boston Garden games. He sees that 6-0 being 3-3 or worse. He sees Malone, the Inside Monster. He sees additional firepower in the persons of Murphy, Reid, Tomjanovich and even rookie guard Allan Leavell, who averaged 13 points per game while shooting 66 percent against the Celtics. What he does not see in his mind's eye is Houston's essential defensive ineptitude and its basic lack of game smarts. It's true that the Rockets will
come here charged up after blowing out the Spurs, and that the Texans are counting on possible Celtic rustiness in hopes of stealing the first game. But the 20-game victory difference between these two teams was no clerical error, and the fact is that a Rocket series triumph would be one of the all-time playoff upsets. Give the Rockets one game on the basis of a Malone freak-out, and maybe even another if somebody else gets especially hot, but that is it.


2. LOS ANGELES-PHOENIX

Regular Season - LA 3, Phoenix 3

First, let's assume that Kareem's migraine headaches disappear. Then let's assume that Truck's ailing knee will get better. Subtract either one of these people from his team's lineup and this whole analysis is useless. Subtract them both, and, well, wouldn't you trade Truck even up for the Big Fella? That aside, this will be a helluva series. Why doesn't anybody believe me when I tell them that Phoenix could win it? LA simply can't guard Paul Westphal, and Alvan Adams always spends a lot of time shooting foul-line jumpers and running away from Kareem for sneakaway dunks. And now the Suns have Rich Kelley to come in and bang Abdul-Jabbar around. There were significant stretches of this season when LA played better ball than anybody, but Phoenix is one team that LA can't psych out. It's been a home-court deal all the way, and so it should remain. LA in seven,
but it's hardly, as they say, a lock.

5.15.2019

Havlicek Participating in Practices with Bird

April 8, 1980

HAVLICEK HELPING CELTICS GET READY

Maybe Bill Fitch thinks that class and experience can be transmitted to his team by osmosis. Why else would he invite John Havlicek to work out with his ballclub? Wearing the No. 27 made famous by Kevin Stacom and Marvin Barnes, Havlicek has been taking part in Celtic practices prior to the playoff opener against the Houston Rockets tomorrow night. "Bill just said that if I wasn't doing anything to come over and work out with them," Havlicek explained. "It gives him another body so he can come up with different looks." We all knew Fitch was thorough, but this time he may have reached new heights.

5.14.2019

Bird Says Sampson Should Stay in School

April 6, 1980

BIRD SAYS SAMPSON SHOULD GET DEGREE

Boston Celtic star Larry Bird says Ralph Sampson, the 7- foot-4 University of Virginia freshman his team wants to sign, should finish school before he turns pro. Bird finished his career at Indiana State even though he had a chance to join the Celtics after his junior year. Bird told a junior high basketball clinic Friday that he thinks Sampson should get a good education to plan for the years after his sports career ends.

"I hope we get him someday, but I hope he's smart enough to stay in school," Bird said. Celtic president Red Auerbach planned to meet next week with Sampson's parents to try to persuade them that their son should pass up his last three years in college for an NBA career.

5.13.2019

Everything Else is Gavy

April 6, 1980

EVERYTHING'S GRAVY FOR CELTICS

What were your preseason expectations for the Celtics? While you're gathering your thoughts, I'll tell you mine. I thought that Dave Cowens would have a good year - not, perhaps a 1974 year, but something that approximated the old Dave Cowens more than the stranger who inhabitated uniform No. 18 last season. I liked what I had seen of Rick Robey, and I thought he would develop into a useful Kupchakian frontcourt performer.

5.12.2019

Sampson a Celtic?

April 5, 1980

THE SAMPSON WATCH AUERBACH WILL SPEAK, BUT IT'S MONEY THAT WILL TALK

When he puts his mind to it, Celtic general manager Red Auerbach can be very charming and persuasive. But even Auerbach is well aware that it will take more than a winning personality to persuade Virginia's 7-foot-4 freshman center, Ralph Sampson, to declare hardship and turn pro with the Celtics. What he'll need most is a lucrative multiyear contract offer from Celtic owner Harry Mangurian.

5.11.2019

Celtics and Sampson Contingent Will Talk

April 4, 1980

CELTICS, SAMPSONS WILL TALK

The Celtics have made no secret of the fact that they'd love to use the No. 1 pick in this year's college draft - which they obtained through a fortuitous coin flip against the Utah Jazz - on Virginia's 7-foot-4 center, Ralph Sampson. The only problem, of course, is that as a freshman, Sampson would have to declare himself a hardship case to be eligible for the 1980 draft.

Now there could be some substance to the Celtics' fervent hopes. Or is there? Sampson's college coach, Terry Holland, revealed last night that he, Sampson's parents and the prodigy's high school coach, Roger Bergey, will meet Tuesday with Celtic officials. The meeting at Sampson's home in Harrisonburg, Va., is being held at the request of Celtics' president Red Auerbach. Sampson will not be present.

Holland conceded that "Ralph is flattered by the Celtics' interest in him." However, he cautioned, "At the present time, he is planning to be back at Virginia. Our meeting with the Celtics is intended to get things out in the open. "If Boston is serious about drafting Ralph, we want to be sure there are no behind-the-scenes dealings that could jeopardize his eligibility at Virginia."

5.10.2019

1979-80 Boston Celtics: The Perfect Storm

1979-80 Boston Celtics: The Perfect Storm

April 1, 1980

THE TALE OF THE TRANSFORMATION FITCH, BIRD AND A PAIR OF COMEBACKS TURNED THE CELTICS AROUND

A year ago, as I recall, the Celtics were marked by turmoil, chaos and confusion. You had an owner who had just completed a gigantic trade his coach and general manager knew nothing about. You had an aging NBA center as coach. You had a malcontent little guard sitting on the bench. The only bright thing on the horizon was the potential of Larry Bird. If ever there was a moribund franchise, it was the Celtics. And for the rest of us, the worst is yet to come, courtesy of the Dick Vitale Sweepstakes."-Pat Williams, 76er general manager

5.09.2019

Ralph Sampson a Celtic?

April 1, 1980

SAMPSON'S THE PRIZE

Either way, heads or tails, Boston or Utah, the coin flip this afternoon at 1 in Comr. Larry O'Brien's office in New York is for the whispering rights to Ralph Sampson. "I don't know what I'll call," said Celtic general manager Red Auerbach, who will be in the Big Apple personally to make the call for the first pick in the NBA draft this year.

5.08.2019

Celtics Win Chance for 7-4 Sampson

Celtics Win Chance for 7-4 Sampson

April 1, 1980

CELTICS WIN COIN TOSS

Celtic general manager Red Auerbach today proved that he still has the knack of winning the "big ones." Auerbach, the brilliant strategist, on and off the court, was overcome with elation after he personally witnessed the celebrated flip of the coin with the Utah Jazz in the New York office of NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien that decided the Celtics had won the right to pick first in the NBA college player draft on June 10.

5.07.2019

Atlantic is Green

March 29, 1980

Atlantic is Green, 130-122

It's a milestone that carries residual benefits beyond compare, and if anyone had told you in August that the Celtics would clinch the Atlantic Division championship on the penultimate night of the season with Pete Maravich dribbling out the clock in Globetrotter fashion and then finishing the game by spiking the basketball, you would have inquired about the nature of those cigarettes he'd been smoking.

5.06.2019

Pistol Dribbles Out the Clock for Emotional W

Pistol Dribbles Out the Clock for Emotional W

March 29, 1980

AT LONG LAST . . . CELTICS NAIL DOWN TITLE

It would have required the imagination of a basketball-oriented Fellini to have conjured up this scene. Suppose, now, that on a nice August afternoon someone had told you that on the night of March 28, the Boston Celtics - those horrible 29-53 Boston Celtics - would nail down both the league's best record and the Atlantic Division title, and, furthermore, that the punctuation mark to an emotional evening of basketball in the hoop-crazed Garden would be the sights of Pete Maravich - Pete Maravich! - first dribbling out the clock in Globetrotter fashion and finally spiking the basketball as the buzzer sounded.

5.05.2019

For Cornbread, Light at End of the Tunnel

For Cornbread, Finally Light at End of the Tunnel

March 29, 1980

FOR MAXWELL, IT WAS ALL RAGS TO RICHES' HE CAME TO BOSTON STRAIGHT FROM THE FINAL FOUR OF THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ATLANTA, WHERE THE CHEERING NEVER STOPPED.

And when he got here, they threw him into the rubber room of the Boston Celtics of Irv Levin and John Y. Brown. For two seasons, Cedric Maxwell flopped and floundered amid the chaos that had turned the Celtic tradition inside out. He played well, but if there was a light at the end of the tunnel, it seemed so far away that he'd be 50 before he reached
it.

5.04.2019

Cowens Out, Bird Iffy

Cowens Out, Bird Iffy

March 29, 1980

BIG GAME WON'T BE

Things haven't worked out quite the way CBS intended.

Instead of a climactic battle for the Atlantic Division championship between the Celtics and 76ers, the network will be getting a game that prompted Bill Fitch to say the following: "If CBS has two frogs jumping on Sunday, they should show that instead of the Boston-Philly game."

Fitch has announced that Dave Cowens will not play and that whether Larry Bird plays is "up to him." Bird is nursing a bruised right thigh, and his participation is potentially harmful. Fitch further declared that "we're going to air it out on national TV. This is the first time all year I can truthfully that say we don't have anything to worry about. We can celebrate until Monday or Tuesday."

Cedric Maxwell made many big plays in last night's game, but perhaps the two biggest came back to back early in the final period. The Cavaliers had whittled the Boston lead down to seven at 101-94 with 10:26 to go when Max went to the flags for an offensive rebound, then threw in a spectacular, falling-down, banked, three-point followup. He then proceeded to steal Willie Smith's dribble at midcourt and go sailing in for a layup that restored the lead to 12 points and forced the Cavaliers into another climb uphill . . . By winning last night, the Celtics accrued the following benefits: They clinched the best record in the league, which, in turn, means they will have the home- court advantage in every playoff series. They avoided the treacherous miniseries. They avoided having to play both Philadelphia and Atlanta in the Eastern Conference playoffs. And they assured themselves of at least a week off at a time when they are battered physically.

5.03.2019

The Cowens’ Toe Situation

The Cowens’ Toe Situation

March 27, 1980

CELTICS NOTEBOOK

The news from the medical front is not good.

Dave Cowens suffered another hyperextension of the left big toe with just about eight minutes to play in the game last night, and he sat our the rest of the game. "It's a reccurrence of the original injury," said team physician Thomas Silva, "but I don't believe it's as serious as the first one." At any rate, Cowens and the doctor will know more this morning, once they see how much swelling has occurred.

5.02.2019

C's Win, But List of Walking Wounded Grows

March 27, 1980

CELTICS OUTLAST KNICKS, BUT COWENS REINJURED

In the aftermath, the walking wounded soaked in the solitude of the Celtic trainer's room and the survivors were left to talk not just about beating the fiesty - and still eligible for the playoffs - New York Knicks, 126-121, last night at the Garden, but also about Boston's comeback season.

5.01.2019

Das Pistol is Smokin’

Das Pistol is Smokin’

March 26, 1980

PISTOL IS SMOKING

Like, wow, Pistol, did you really want to shoot a three- pointer?

The Celtics were losing by two points, 95-93. A sequence begun when Pete Maravich himself had missed a jumper (one of only two fourth-period misses in 10 tries), and there had been a couple of taps, a back-tap across mid-court and another miss. Now the 24-second clock was again dwindling down and here was Maravich on the right flank, a half-step or so outside the line. To advance, or not to advance, that was clearly the question.

4.30.2019

Tiny (17 Dimes) & Pistol (17-Point 4th) Lead the Way

Tiny (17 Dimes) & Pistol (17-Point 4th) Lead the Way

March 26, 1980

MARAVICH RESCUES CELTICS

M.L. Carr stood at the entrance of the Capitol Centre with a 2-by-4 board in his hand when the Celtics bus arrived, jokingly asserting that if any guy didn't want to play tonight then he was going to whack 'em one. Well, it seemed something did fire up the Celtics, who broke their two- game losing streak by beating the Bullets, 96-95, in a performance that was closer to what the playoff Celtics should look like to coach Bill Fitch.

4.29.2019

Robey Knew He could Play

March 25, 1980

ROBEY KNEW HE COULD PLAY - NOW OTHERS DO

Rick Robey has a Teen Angel face, that certain Elvis Presley look of innocence that seems so strikingly incongruous in his rugged line of work. The Celtic center's Kentucky intonations still leap just as high when he and Larry Bird or Jeff Judkins discuss Darrell
Griffith in particular and today's college players in general. Especially when they recall the time Griffith made a dunk in warmups by first placing the ball on the backboard, then taking it off and reverse-dunking it on the other side. "Geez, can you see him in the Garden if he did that?" marveled Robey.

4.28.2019

Bird 20-69 Over Last Four Games

Bird 20-69 Over Last Four Games

March 24, 1980

CELTICS NOTEBOOK COLD SPELL BEFUDDLES BIRD

To Bill Fitch, Larry Bird's shooting slump was characterized by his final field-goal attempt yesterday, an awkward heave from three-point distance that fell 10 feet short.
"There was no rhythm, no feel," said Fitch. "He rushed the shot." For Bird, making a technical analysis of his shooting problem is practically daring it to continue. Either the ball goes through the hoop, or it doesn't. Simple, except when it persistently doesn't, and the statistics are 20 for 69 for the last four games.

4.27.2019

Pistol Keeps Firing

Pistol Keeps Firing

March 21, 1980

MARAVICH'S 20 HELP STAGGER PISTONS

The Celtics rolled up their fourth victory in six days last night as they blasted the Detroit Pistons, 124-106, at the Silverdome. Pete Maravich sparked the Celtics for the second night in a row, scoring a team-high 20 points as he led a double-figure scoring parade. Cedric Maxwell, returning from a sprained ankle that had sidelined him for Wednesday's game in Hartford against the Pacers, contributed 16 points. Dave Cowens added 15, Larry Bird and Jeff Judkins 11 each, and M.L. Carr and Tiny Archibald chipped in with 10 each.

4.26.2019

C’s Win Despite 8 Turnovers and Poor Shooting by Bird

C’s Win Despite 8 Turnovers and Poor Shooting by Bird

March 21, 1980

CELTICS SMOTHER PISTONS MAGIC NUMBER IS 3 FOR DIVISION TITLE

There were two, perhaps three stories emanating this week from the Silverdome, which has been turned into a gigantic house of horrors by two professional teams - the Detroit Lions and Pistons. Last night's story - unfortunately for the Pistons - was that the Celtics came to town for their last visit to the Michigan wasteland. Although Boston won, 124-106, it was not a classic blowout. The Celtics played inconsistently and the Pistons, as usual, played hurt while losing their ninth straight.

4.25.2019

Don Cheney Turns 34

March 20, 1980

DON CHANEY: OLDER, JUST AS CLASSY

When it's your birthday, you somehow have the notion that, notwithstanding the fact that you're a year older, something good will happen on that day. Your blind date will resemble Bo Derek more than Godzilla. Your Master Charge account will mysteriously pay itself up.

Well, today is Don Chaney's birthday - his 34th - and probably the first thing he would give thanks for as the Celtics visit the Pistons in Detroit tonight (8 o'clock, WBZ Radio) is that he isn't wearing his age on his knees, as some of his NBA contemporaries currently do. The older many of them get, the more operations they have. The scars around the knees begin to look like the rings of oak trees.

4.24.2019

Pistol and Bird, Bird and Pistol

Pistol and Bird, Bird and Pistol

March 19, 1980

PISTOL RIDDLES PACERS

Wait till they see this box score in Philadelphia.

No Cedric Maxwell (sprained ankle). Only three field goals for Larry Bird ("He was dealt," said Bill Fitch, "a pair of deuces and he still made the most of them"). Only three field goals for Dave Cowens. A four-point deficit after three quarters. All this, and still the fifth Celtic victory in large measure because of another fascinating entry in the box:

Pete Maravich: 12-7-31.

4.23.2019

We Have a Pistol Sighting

We Have a Pistol Sighting

March 19, 1980

PISTOL SPARKS CELTICS

Surviving the twin evils of a Rakel-Lembo officiating duo and their own penchant for self-destruction, the Boston Celtics came from behind in the final period last night to nail down a 114-102 verdict over the Indiana Pacers at the Civic Center. A run of 16-6 covering 5:45 of the fourth quarter turned an 88-83 Indiana lead into a 99-94 Boston advantage, but before this one was guaranteed in the win column the Celtics would have to make a few clutch baskets and stop throwing the ball away.

4.22.2019

Phil Jackson’s Fumbled Pass Among Lowlights for Nets

Phil Jackson’s Fumbled Pass Among Lowlights for Net’s

March 18, 1980

CELTICS EXPLODE - NETS EXPIRE, 117-92

A pretty good indication of the kind of game that was played here last night was the fact that Kevin Loughery spent most of his post-game interview talking about legislation to outlaw the technical foul shot. The Nets, who are going nowhere, played like they had nothing to prove. And the Celtics, who have the best record in the NBA, played in fifth gear. In fact, the Celtics went into playoff overdrive as they executed every aspect of the game well in beating the Nets, 117-92, the second-worst New Jersey loss to Boston since a 116-79 Halloween night massacre.

4.21.2019

Bird Leads Celtics over Rick Barry, Rockets

Bird Leads Celtics over Rick Barry, Rockets

March 13, 1980

The Celtics placed seven men in double figures and got a superb offensive game from Larry Bird as they snapped their brief losing streak with a 121-105 victory over the Houston Rockets last night at the Garden. Boston never trailed after an early 13-2 spurt broke a 6-6 tie, and the home team got up by 24 points at 90-66 with 2:44 remaining in the third period. But Houston didn't quit, and with 3:27 left in the game the Celtics' lead had been sliced to eight at 106-98.

4.20.2019

Chris Ford and Tiny Sit this One Out

March 12, 1980

CELTICS NOTEBOOK

FORD PUT ON INJURED LIST; CHANEY BACK

And so, after the 69th game, the deluge.

The Celtics had played 77 consecutive games with the same starting backcourt, beginning with the first exhibition game in Madison Square Garden and continuing through Sunday's losing effort against the Bullets. But the streak ended last night when neither Nate Archibald nor Chris Ford was around to aid the team.

4.18.2019

Larry Bird’s Top 7 Flaws

Larry Bird’s Top 7 Flaws

March 9, 1980

I'VE DONE IT: I FOUND FLAWS IN SUPERBIRD

I am a fighter of the good fight. The adjectives seem to fly everywhere these days for Larry Bird - "awesome" and "spectacular" and "unbelievable" and all the rest - and I gag on them, cough and sputter and spume. I use the words, of course, but that does not mean I have to like them.

I am a Boston sportswriter. I will find something wrong with this kid if it takes days and nights of research, hard and fast thinking of the supreme degree. I am bred for this type of work, trained in the use of venom and straight-razor viciousness, known throughout the world for these qualities. I will not be denied.

4.17.2019

Pistol’s 35-Foot Buzzer Beater Punctuates Win

March 8, 1980

Pistol’s 35-Foot Buzzer Beater Punctuates Win

With Pete Maravich's flying buzzer beating 35-foot three-pointer punctuating a sensational defensive display in exclamatory fashion, the Celtics extended their victory streak to nine by smashing the Philadelphia 76ers by a convincing 111-92 score before 15,320 zealots at the Garden last night. The Celtics built up a 66-42 third-period lead, saw their advantage dip to as low as 12 (72-60, 74-62, 82-70) in the face of a truly remarkable performance by Julius Erving and then regained control at the seven-minute mark of the final period to give the crowd a dazzling showtime, during which Bill Fitch was able to pull his stars for well-deserved ovations.

4.16.2019

Doug Collins: Celtics have No Weaknesses

March 8, 1980

Doug Collins: Celtics have No Weaknesses

Among the new Celtic admirers is Philadelphia guard Doug Collins. Last night he was making his first appearance against the Celtics since undergoing surgery on both feet back in the fall, and it was not exactly a banner evening for the former All-Star guard, who shot 3 for 9 in 21 minutes of playing time. Boston is a very good team," Collins said after the Celtics' 111-92 victory. "They're good in every facet of the game. They rebound, press and pass well. They have no weaknesses. They came up with a plus in Rick Robey. It looks as if (Dave) Cowens getting hurt was a blessing in disguise. It gave Robey the confidence and now Cowens can work his way back gradually."

4.15.2019

Bird (27, 9, & 4) and Robey (18 & 12) Help C’s Topple Sixers

March 8, 1980

Bird (27, 9, & 4) and Robey (18 & 12) Help C’s Topple Sixers

Billy Cunningham says he's convinced. The Boston Garden fans are certainly convinced. "Right now," said the 76er coach after watching his team get obliterated for the third time in as many Boston tries this season, "the Celtics are the best team in the NBA."

4.14.2019

C's versus Sixers: Something's Gotta Give

March 7, 1980

A MATTER OF PRIDE. . . IT'S CELTICS AND 76ERS; ONE STREAK MUST END

There will be, of course, just one honest-to-God must game played this season between these two teams, and that will be the seventh game of the Eastern Conference finals. So what will take place before the 11th consecutive (and 25th overall) Boston Garden capacity crowd of 15,320 this evening will be something less than Armageddon, but, nontheless, something more than an October exhibition game in Cinnaminson, N.J. Tonight's Celtics-76ers clash (Ch. 4, WBZ, 7:30) will pit two ancient rivals who just happen to own the two best records in the NBA, but that's only part of the scenario.

4.13.2019

Bird in Running for MVP . . . as Rookie

March 5, 1980

Bird in Running for MVP . . . as Rookie

Preliminary honors are beginning to pile up for Larry Bird. He was named as the NBA Player of the Week on Monday, and yesterday it was announced that he had also been chosen as the league's Player of the Month for February. His February accomplishments included scoring 28 points a game, shooting 52 percent from the floor, grabbing 10 rebounds and handing out 5 assists a game, shooting 46 percent (13 for 28) on three-point shots and leading the Celtics to a 9-2 record for the month. During February, Bird had four games in which he had 30 or more points, including his season's high of 45 in Phoenix on Feb. 13. He also had games of 33, 32 and 30, and in the only two games in which he did not score at least 20 points he recorded 8 assists in each.

4.12.2019

Cornbread (23, 9, & 6), Bird (29, 6, & 6), and Tiny (19 & 9) Lead the Way

March 5, 1980

Cornbread (23, 9, & 6), Bird (29, 6, & 6), and Tiny (19 & 9) Lead the Way

They've always said that it's worth your life to play in San Antonio, but never before have they been referring to that life being a Spur's. Yup, it was definitely a hometown lynch mob that filed out of the Hemisfair last night after watching the Boston Celtics pummel its once- fearsome Spurs by a 137-108 score. That margin was a very accurate indication of the manner in which the Celtics took control of this game to record their seventh straight victory and raise their season's record to 51-15.

4.11.2019

Can the Celts Shake the Sixers?

March 2, 1980

THE HEAT'S ON CELTICS TO SHAKE 76ERS NOW

March is here and the Boston Celtics have already won 20 more games than they did last season. They have the best record in the league, and are clearly one of the four best teams, no matter which side of the East-West argument you're on. But there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

4.10.2019

Celtics Win Coin Toss

March 1, 1980

CELTICS WIN COIN TOSS

NEW YORK

The Celtics won today's celebrated flip of the coin contest with the Utah Jazz, thus earning the right to select first in the NBA college player draft on June 10.

Utah general manager Frank Layden, in a phone hookup with the NBA office, called "heads," but commissioner Larry O Brien, after flipping a coin, and making a catch before it hit the floor, declared, "tails" in favor of the Celtics. Celtics general manager Red Auerbach was present for the brief ceremony.

Only moments earlier Utah had won the original toss to determine which team would have the right to make the call that decided the team winning the right to the first selection in the draft.

4.09.2019

Celtics Prepare for Robert Parish and Lottery-Bound Warriors

February 29, 1980

Bird, Celtics Prepare for Warriors

One fact explains all you need to know about the road to the Atlantic Division title: From now until the end of the season four weeks from Sunday, the Celtics never have more than one day off. The NBA season runs a week shorter this year, and the compression had to come somewhere. That somewhere is March, when the Celtics play 18 games in 30 days. To survive such a grind, the Celtics will need depth and mental toughness. One other thing would help, too, and that would be a bigger lead over Philadelphia. But the 76ers, back from a 3-1 road trip that included a big 101-98 overtime triumph in Seattle, keep dogging the Celtics, still 1 1/2 games behind.

4.08.2019

C's Win, Despite 35 & 6 from Da Ice Man

February 28, 1980

CELTICS GUN DOWN SPURS IN SHOOTOUT

The 15,320 folks at the Garden, comprising the 23d sellout of the season, had to strap themselves in last night as the first quarter of the Celtic-San Antonio Spur game went by like the jet winds from a Boeing 707.

4.06.2019

David's Toe

February 27, 1980

CELTICS NOTEBOOK COWENS RETURNS; CHANEY INJURED

The longest-running soap opera in Celtic history is over. Entitled "David's Toe," it recounted the gut-wrenching saga of one 6-foot-9 red-headed center's battle with a hyperextended left big toe that kept him out of action for 14 regular-season games and one All-Star game. But now it is over.

4.05.2019

Pistol Showing Signs of Life

February 25, 1980

CELTICS NOTEBOOK FITCH LIKES CELTICS' PRO' LOOK

Bill Fitch, that little ol' phrasemaker, didn't have to reach very far into his bag of verbal tricks to sum up the performance of his team on the five-game road trip that concluded with a 124-105 laugher Saturday night in Denver.

4.04.2019

“Bird Best Rookie Since Walton”

“Bird Best Rookie Since Walton”

February 24, 1980

BIRD SHOWS WHAT HE'S MADE OF

It is becoming difficult to exaggerate the effect that Larry Bird has had on the Celtics. As the club travels around the country, rivals are becoming more explicit in their praise. And just this week Utah Jazz coach Tom Nissalke uttered the most powerful endorsement yet of the Celtics' rookie.

4.03.2019

Fernsten Making Himself Useful

February 22, 1980

FERNSTEN WINNING BATTLE WITH OBSCURITY

Eric Fernsten will be the first to tell you that the life of a professional basketball player is not necessarily all what you call your tinsel and glitter. Here he was, a rookie backup center with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was Thanksgiving Day 1975, and his belongings had just arrived from the West Coast. "I had just finished unpacking my stereo and other things and I went to practice," Eric recalls.

4.02.2019

Judkins Leads Celts Past Jazz

February 21, 1980

JUDKINS, CELTICS SAVOR ONE, 105-98

Yes, Virginia, you were onto something. Crime absolutely, positively, does not pay. And it can be stated with certainty that if you stick a tooth under your pillow this evening the Good Fairy will leave a shiny, new quarter underneath by the morning. Somebody Up There was watching over this basketball game last night. In other words, what everyone connected with the Celtics wanted to happen, did happen. Right here in the land of Joseph Smith, not three miles from his home and his school, Jeff

3.31.2019

Exactly Who is Bill Fitch?

Exactly Who is Bill Fitch?

February 20, 1980

BILL FITCH: WHO IS THIS MAN WHO HAS COACHED THE CELTICS BACK FROM THE DARK AGES TO THE LEVEL OF EXCELLENCE THEY ONCE TOOK FOR GRANTED? THERE IS NO SIMPLE ANSWER, JUST AS HE IS NOT A SIMPLE MAN. BILL FITCH IS MANY THINGS, BUT FOREMOST AMONG THEM IS WINNER.

For 26 years, his world has been basketball. Bill Fitch has a game face. Bill Fitch has a living face. Only a select few can tell the difference when watching the first-year Celtic coach at work.

3.29.2019

DJ and Sonics have “Abiding Respect” for Celtics

DJ and Sonics have “Abiding Respect” for Celtics

February 18, 1980

The Sonics won this magnificent game, but the Celtics led in "What-ifs?"

The Celtics had no business leaving the Kingdome with their heads between their legs. They had come into a joint bursting with humanity (28,726, fifth highest crowd of the season here, and for a TV game) and had played the fannies off the league's best team, and they had done it without Dave Cowens. So there's What-if No. 1. They had failed to score in their final five possessions, a stretch covering 2:47, and on the first three of them they did not have the services of Larry Bird, who had turned an ankle underneath the basket with 3:09 to play. It's not an alibi; it's just a legitimate "What-if?"

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