10.31.2010

Bird's Rookie Year: December 15, 1979

December 15, 1979

The amazing, astounding, stupendous, improbable Chris Ford three-point saga rolls on. In addition to his game-winning bomb last evening, Ford tossed in two other three-pointers in six attempts, increasing his consecutive-game streak to 12 and raising his success rate during that span to 57 percent (25-44).

Said Brian Winters of the winning basket, "I was kind of on the side of him, and Bennie (Milwaukee's Kent Benson) was coming at him. He had to loft it up over Bennie. It was the kind of shot you wanted him to take" ... Dave Cowens has been around long enough to know that even though he was 0 for 10 in the second half and 3 for 19 in the game, he had to take an open 18- footer which brought the Celtics to within two at 90-88. Bill Fitch surely wasn't afraid to see Dave take the shot, which came after a Boston timeout. "I told them during that timeout that this was as tough a situation as we've faced all year, especially at home," Fitch related .

The Bucks arrived here without center Harvey Catchings (bruised hip) and with a flu-weakened Benson and a damaged Marques Johnson (sore right shoulder and pulled hamstring). Benson contributed little, but Johnson shot 14-for-22 and scored 30 points, prompting Larry Bird to say, "If he plays that way unhealthy, I hope I never meet him healthy" ... Milwaukee defended the Boston fast break so well that the Celtics only had three fast-break baskets all evening (two coming 24 seconds apart in the third quarter) while attempting to push it but 19 times ... Boston won the second-chance point battle, 18-8 ... Fitch had words of praise for Cowens and Ford, but as for the rest he said, "All I can say is that they did well enough for us to win" ... Ford had five assists, all on the spectacular side.

Don Chaney played another good game for the Celtics on Wednesday, and was due to see some significant action against the Bucks ... The sellout crowd of 15,320 was the eighth Garden bangout in 15 games, and it raised the average Celtic attendance to 13,645 a game ... The club is playing to 96-percent capacity among the unobstructed seats ... Only a few tickets remain for next Wednesday's confrontation with the 76ers, but better seats are available for next Friday's game with San Antonio, an affair not included in the half-season ticket plan ... The Celtics will play two games later this season in the rebuilt Hartford Civic Center, which will open on Jan. 17 with a Whaler game ... Boston has been very good with a lead. The Celtics were 19-0 in games in which they had led or tied at the end of the third quarter.

Larry Bird had shaken his four-game shooting slump (when he was 18 for 59) by shooting .532 (41 for 77) from the floor in his four previous games. Bird leads the team in scoring (19.0) and rebounding (10.4), while placing second in assists with 4.6 a game ... Tiny Archibald continues to pace the NBA with 8.8 assists a game ... Milwaukee had been having rebounding problems. Regular starting center Kent Benson was only pulling in 5.8 a game (in an average of 24 minutes of playing time). Johnson led the Bucks with 8.2 a game from the forward position ... For the third straight weekend, the Celtics are involved in three games in three nights, having managed to win two out of three apiece the first two times around.

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