Remembering the 29-5 Start
1990-91 Boston Celtics
He went from doubtful to questionable to probable to efficient, all in the space of 48 hours.
After he injured his back Wednesday against the Nuggets, the furthest thing from the minds of the Celtics medical people was that Reggie Lewis would be able to play against Dallas.
"It was bad," said team physician Arnold Scheller. "I didn't even think he'd make the trip."
"We had major league doubts," trainer Eddie Lacerte said.
But athletic, 25-year-old bodies seem to heal quicker than most. Lewis improved enough Thursday to travel. He was at the shootaround yesterday morning and felt better.
Then he went out and scored 23 points in 36 minutes last night in the Celtics' 112-104 victory over the Mavericks.
"He's still stiff and I'm anxious to see how he'll feel today," Scheller said. "But he improved in a short period of time."
Scheller and Lacerte weren't the only ones who doubted Lewis' availability. So did the player himself.
"When it first happened, I didn't think I'd make the trip, either," he said. "But it started to come along and felt a little better each day."
Lewis played all but three minutes of the second half, scoring 17 of his 23. And the Celtics' good luck with injuries continued. Only one player of their top eight, Joe Kleine, has missed a game because of injury. And he missed one.
The Celtics shot 57 percent, the highest mark against a Dallas team since last April 3. In their current streak (11 wins in 12 games), the Celtics have shot 50 percent or better in nine of them. And no opponent has shot better than 50 percent in the last 11 games . . . If some of the Celtics' bosses looked depressed last night, it was because they lost their shot at Xavier McDaniel. The X-Man was dealt yesterday to Phoenix for Eddie Johnson and two first-round picks . . . Kevin Gamble's three blocked shots were, not surprisingly, a career high. Kevin McHale was calling Gamble "Tree Rollins" after the game. Neither McHale nor Robert Parish managed a rejection . . . Boston's 10 turnovers were a season low. Both the Celtics and Mavericks are among the worst teams in the league at forcing turnovers . . . Rodney McCray jammed his pinky during the shootaround. X-rays were negative and McCray played 46 minutes, scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds . . . The Celtics' bench outscored Dallas', 31-8