Near Perfect Third Quarter is Preview of Playoffs

Cs Warming Up for their Mind-Blowing Third Quarter Against Hawks in Eastern Conference Semis

Zip, zip, zip, zip . . . swish, groan.

That's what it sounded like in the third and fourth periods at the Mecca last night. The Celtics put on a textbook performance of passing and hitting the open man as they routed the Milwaukee Bucks. Boston made 15 of 19 shots in the third period. On more than one occasion, all five Celtics touched the ball before it swished through the net.

"That's the kind of basketball I like to play," said Bill Walton. "Everybody is involved; nobody is standing. Everybody is moving, and whoever is open gets the shot. That's the way we're playing now, and it's the most fun way."

The longest winning streak in Celtics history is 18 (February/March 1982), and that represents the only time the Celts have won more than 13 straight games since Larry Bird came aboard in 1979. The Celts had winning streaks of 12 and 13 games during the 1980-81 season.

Kevin McHale is concerned about his sore left Achilles' tendon. "It's just not healing as quickly as it's supposed to," McHale said before last night's game. "I think it was probably stupid for me to have played against Indiana and Atlanta. The tendon was strained. Now the tendon feels OK, but the muscles around it have atrophied. That's what I have to find out now. If it doesn't feel better tonight, I should probably just wait until after the All Star break." McHale hit all six of his shots in the first half but did not return for the second half. Celtics coach K.C. Jones said McHale probably would not play tonight vs. Washington

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