Walton Gets the Night Off

1983-84 Boston Celtics
Celtics 129, Clippers 122
Record: 6-1


Bill Walton was on the bench for San Diego, but don't get the idea that he is hurt again, or happy about the fact he wasn't playing against the Celtics last night. Walton's night off is all part of a plan that the Clippers hope will get them into the expanded NBA playoffs this year. Walton did not play because last night was the second of back-to-back games. San Diego has 19 such pairings, seven in November.

James Donaldson, acquired from Seattle, started at center and had 13 points and three rebounds. Jerome Whitehead was the backup and had 16 points and eight rebounds. Clippers coach Jim Lynam made the move because he isn't sure Walton's oft- injured feet can take the pounding of games on usccessive nights yet. But he feels if San Diego gets to a playoff, it will be because Walton would have played in 60 games, something he has done only once - when he led Portland to the NBA title in the 1976-77 season.

Walton approves of the plan, even though he wanted to play in the Garden. He said his left foot, which has been a question mark for the last two years, does not bother him at all, and surgery seems to have corrected the problems he had last season with his right foot. "Right now," said Walton, "I feel very good. Last year, I didn't even know if I could play basketball, coming out once or twice a week. This year, I know I can play, and will be in 3-4 games a week."


Former Celtic Don Chaney returned to the Garden as an assistant to Lynam, who is also no stranger to this parts, having coached college ball at Fairfield . . . Veteran forward M. L. Carr played in his 500th career game . . . Clippers forward Terry Cummings was dynamite. "He has a lean-back jumper that couldn't be stopped, and if you play him tight, he'll go around you and dunk," said Jones.

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