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12.31.2007

1986 Cs (23-7) Crush Cornbread's Clippers

Celtics Move to 23-7

It must be hard for Cedric Maxwell these days. The Clippers lose the way Max' Celtics used to win. Kurt Nimphius now stands where Robert Parish used to stand. Empty seats gather dust where sellouts used to shout. Front office fools rush in where wise men used to tread.

Last night's Celtics -Clippers contest was promoted as "Cambridge Bill Meets Mad Max," but the principals in the big-name trade had little impact on the debacle at the LA Sports Arena.

The Clippers played defense as if they'd been schooled by Lon Chaney instead of Don Chaney, and Boston dealt the LA franchise a savage, well- deserved beating. The final score was 125-103 and it's hard to remember when the Celts were invited to score with such ease.

The Celts headed for Blowout City immediately, bolting to a 14-2 lead in the first three minutes. It was 34-23 after one, 69-47 at the half and 99-71 at the end of three. The Clippers were statues on defense for the full 48 minutes and the hungry Celts were happy to take advantage.

Max was all smiles when he came out for the center jump, and didn't seem too surprised with the way things developed. He guarded Kevin McHale at the start, and McHale (22 points, 18 rebounds) went over him for a follow-up basket in the first minute. It was one of 15 rebounds McHale snatched in the first two periods.

McHale's follow was the start of an 11-0 run.

Norm Nixon broke Boston's big run with a basket off a drive, but the Celts continued to score with remarkable ease. Larry Bird (21) feathered three straight jumpers and why not? There was no Clipper within five feet of Bird on any of the shots.

After a Dennis Johnson jumper put Boston ahead, 24-10, Maxwell scored on a layup and a follow to cut the Celtic margin to 10, forcing K.C. Jones to call time.

Marques Johnson went to work on offense, but the Clips still didn't have anyone playing defense. When Walton replaced Parish with 1:55 left in the first, Boston led, 32-21.

The Celts outrebounded the Clips, 17-8, and led by 11 at the end of one. Bill Walton hit a hook and Boston's lead swelled to 21 after a pair of jumpers by Scott Wedman and a follow by McHale early in the second.

Jones showed confidence in his much-maligned second unit and it paid off. A hook by Walton and a jumper by Jerry Sichting gave the Celts an unthinkable 51-28 lead.

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