Ray Flynn should have gone double or nothing with Chicago mayor Harold Washington on this one.
It certainly didn't make up for the Roman numeral indignity in New Orleans, but watching a New England team beat a Chicago team four days after You Know What should provide some comfort for still-stunned Pats' fans.
Without benefit of a Sears-Kenmore 46-cubic-foot no-frost fridge, or a self-serving assistant coach like Buddy Ryan, Boston defeated Chicago, 101-91, last night in one of the most lethargic and boring exhibitions yet played in this everlasting regular season.
The victory was Boston's ninth straight, matching the season's longest win streak. The piti-Bulls have lost eight of nine.
The Celts were without Kevin McHale for the third straight game, while the Bulls didn't have high scorer Orlando Woolridge (sprained wrist).
The game's sole redemption was its parity. Neither team could build a lead in the first half. Chicago went ahead by seven early in the third, but a 21-9 sruge by the Celts thrust the Green to a 76-73 lead at the end of three.
Boston was still ahead by three when Larry Bird returned for the final 8:23. After a 24-second violation on the Bulls, Bird hit a middle-range jumper to make it 84-79 and force a Chicago timeout.
The Bulls were relying solely on Quintin Dailey at this juncture. The inimitable Dailey scored a whopping 38 in 21 minutes Tuesday and had Chicago's first eight points in the final period against the Celts.
A fall-down jumper by Bird with 4:23 left put the Celts up by seven. The Celts held serve and led by seven with 2:42 after a banker by Bill Walton. Then Bird rebounded a Dave Corzine miss and Robert Parish scored on a sneakaway to give the Celts a 96-87 lead with 2:06 left. Chicago called time, and fans started filing into the streets of the Windy City.
Scott Wedman started in McHale's place and opened the scoring with a long jumper after Sid Green's game-opening air ball.
Wedman missed his next four shots as the sluggish first quarter continued. Both teams were embarrassingly flat-footed. Wide-open jumpers were the order of the night.
Gene Banks allegedly was guarding Bird, and Boston's MVP hadn't seen this much open space since his last solo shooting session. It took awhile for Bird to adjust to shooting wide-open jumpers, but he made three straight in one stretch, then fed Dennis Johnson for a layup.
Boston's early defense was no better than Chicago's. Banks roamed the lane unmolested, and Chicago stayed close thanks to a series of layups and Green (10 in the first quarter) jumpers. Parish was replaced by Walton before the quarter ended, and Chicago led, 28-27 after one.
David Thirdkill started the second quarter with Walton, Bird, DJ and Jerry Sichting. Thirdkill took over on Green.
Walton put the Celts ahead with a jump hook, then blocked a Corzine shot, but Boston was unable to build any kind of a lead. K.C. Jones paired Walton with Parish briefly, but Walton picked up his third and fourth fouls and returned to the bench. The immortal Corzine closed the half with four straight, and Chicago led, 52-49, at intermission. Bird did not score a basket in the second quarter, and Danny Ainge pitched a first-half shutout.
George Gervin shot the Bulls to a seven-point lead (60-53) early in the third. Bird helped out with a needless technical, courtesy of Hugh Evans.
It was then that the Celtics tightened up on defense and put together their first serious run of the night. Wedman started the drive with a pair of jumpers, then Ainge hit a jumper and a free throw and Bird canned a lefty runner in the lane. Boston regained the lead on a second-chance jumper by DJ.
After two free throws by Green, Walton hit a foul-line set shot, DJ drained one from out top and Bird hit two from the line to give the Celtics a 74-69 lead. The 21-9 run enabled the Celts to carry a 76-73 lead into the final period.