CELTICS OFF AND RUNNING PAST ROCKETS, 125-106
Here's how you know it was an exhibition game.
Larry Bird has just swished one to make it 9-4, and now here comes Danny Ainge on the right wing. Pull-up -- swish. 11-4. On any real night, Bill Fitch would have stood, fingers touching each shoulder, signifying a 20-second timeout. Instead, he sat and stared.
The carnage continued, until it was 40-20 after one. That was the foundation of the Celtics' 125-106 exhibition breeze over the Rockets at Boston Garden last night.
The veteran quartet of Bird (17 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists in 28 breezy minutes), Robert Parish (12 points, 9 rebounds), Johnson (12 points, 7 assists) and Ainge (20 points, including two three-pointers) was joined by rookie Mark Acres, who played as if this were just another pickup game in Ghent. The 6-foot-10-inch frontcourt swingman finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds (6 offensive), and he was an integral part of that first-quarter blitz.