December 15, 1979
CELTICS OUTLUCK BUCKS, 97-94
Chris Ford tossed in a 30-foot three-point field goal at the buzzer, lifting the Celtics to a 97-94 victory over the Milwuakee Bucks last night at the Garden.
Ford, who collected 15 points, had tied the game, 94-94, when he hit a pair of free throws with 25 seconds remaining. That enabled the Celtics to nullify a Milwuakee comeback in which the Bucks erased a 15-point deficit and took a 90-86 lead with 2:26 remaining.
Cedric Maxwell led the Celtics with 27 points, and Larry Bird added 21. Marques Johnson hit a game-high 30 for Milwaukee.
Neither coach could hav been especially please about his team's play during a dismal first half. When the 24 minutes were complete, the Celtics had a 51-45 lead, but you can bet your autographed picture of Connie Simmons that Bill Fitch wasn't nominating any of his players for the Hall of Fame.
For openers, the Celtics did not get one basket on the fast break during the entire half. All they had to show for a half of play were three free throws, one by Nate Archibald and two by Cedric Maxwell, the first
half high scorer with 15 points. They only misfired or threw the ball away six times, which indicates how well the Bucks defensed the break.
So how did Boston manage to accumulate its lead? Simple. No matter what Boston did, the Bucks were able to do it worse. A Boston turnover would be followed by a Milwaukee shot bouncing over the backboard, an offensive fould, or some such abomination. The Bucks were truly wretched in this half so trailing by six really wasn't so bad fromt heir standpoint.