1983-84 Boston Celtics
Everybody figured this was going to be Rocky II. Billy Cunningham brought his tearaway sports jacket, Don King made some calls about moving the game to Caesars Palace, and Billy Martin was contacted about the possibility of a halftime bout with a Lookout Mountain marshmallow salesman. Forget it. The Celtics and 76ers eschewed the basketbrawling that marked their Sunday night special in the Boston Garden and performed a Tennessee Waltz on the Chattanooga campus last night.
Not even the result was the same, as Philadelphia came up with a 120-110 victory. The biggest surprise of the night came when nonunion official Ralph Lembo appeared at midcourt with whistle in hand; Lembo was one of the officials in Boston Sunday and was considered part of the reason things careened out of control. The closest thing to an "incident" came when Larry Bird and Marc Iavaroni, who racked up $3000 in fines after the Sunday fracus, pointedly avoided shaking hands before the opening tap.
Franklin Edwards started for the Sixers instead of Maurice Cheeks. The Celtics went with their normal starting five. After only three minutes of play, Boston guard Danny Ainge went to the trainer's room with a slightly sprained left ankle. Ainge returned to the bench a few minutes later. Rookie hopeful Carlos Clark got some meaningful minutes in thefirst half and played well, although not as well as Philly rookie Sedale Threatt, who scored 10 points in the second quarter.
The Celtics had a lot of succes with their newly implemented halfcourt trap defense and led, 25-15, at the end of the first quarter. Backup center Kevin McHale scored eight of Boston's final 10 points in the opening period and had 14 at halftime. Led by Cheeks and Threatt, the Sixers scored a whopping 42 points in the second quarter. The Celtics were turning the ball over and Philly scored 28 in the first eight minutes of the period, finally taking the lead, 43-42, on a Threatt jumper with 4:06 left in the half. The Sixers led, 57-54, at intermission.
After giving the matter considerable thought, Red Auerbach has decided not to appeal his $2500 fine, which was imposed by the league after Auerbach came out of the stands and stormed across the floor during Sunday night's scuffle with the Sixers. As expected, Richie Phillips, general counsel to the NBA refs, used Sunday's incident as an example of life without the regular officials. "This will happen when you get inconsistent calls and lack of respect," said Phillips . . . Coach K.C. Jones rejoined the Celtics yesterday after staying back in Boston while his wife, Ellen, gave birth to their first child, Kent Christopher. Jones will be in New York to scout an exhibition doubleheader tonight. He said he might be making another cut before the day is over . . . The 76ers will not cut Threatt, and look for Edwards or Mark McNamara to be moving on to make room for him. Sixers rookie Leo Rautins (infected foot) was not with the team last night . . . The Celtics have today off but play the Lakers in Hartford tomorrow night and again in Worcester Saturday night.