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11.03.2010

Bird's Rookie Year: December 17, 1979

December 17, 1979

CELTIC NOTEBOOK NEWLIN: RECORD'S NICE, BUT . . .

The record, to begin with, was a hollow one. Mike Newlin's 52 points was only a record by a Net player in the NBA. Julius Erving had nights like this in his sleep when he and the Nets were in the old ABA. But this was a night when Mike Newlin, who is on the all-flake team but also an excellent offensive player, pumped in a career-high 52 points, 13 more than ever scored while with the Rockets. The sad part is that it was all for naught and he will remember that also.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't even feel I was hot. I'm not a dominating kind of player. I have to get my points off the flow of the game and tonight the flow was aimed at me.

"Sure I'm happy I scored 52 points, but I wish I could squeeze some joy out of it. But we lost and that's what makes what happened tonight only disappointing."

Newlin had a fantastic night, hitting 19 of 28 shots from the floor, including a three-pointer. He shot over, around and through the Celtics almost any time he wanted and also added 13 of 15 free throws. But he also made a critical turnover with five seconds to play and he says he will remember that more than the 52 points.

"I could tell you I was fouled on that play, and I was, but that's sour grapes," said Newlin. "All that counted was that I gave up the ball and we lost. That's all that counts.

While Newlin was winning praise, Celtic veteran Chris Ford was taking a lot of good-natured ribbing, for he guarded Newlin most of the night."

"That's all right, Chris," said Cedric Maxwell. "That's why we're paying you the big money. You make big money, you get to guard the guy who can score 50 points.

Net coach Kevin Loughery was livid over the call by referee Jack Madden with two seconds left that resulted in two free throws by M.L. Carr that sent the game into overtime. Loughery said Carr should have never had three shots to make two. "You can't get a two-shot foul unless you have control of the ball. He didn't have control. The replays showed he never even touched it. We won this game. It might not show in the standings, but we won it." . . . Carr, who missed the first free throw but made the next two, said he was bothered by his sore right wrist, which was hacked again and gave him trouble. "I did touch the ball. I went right up as soon as I did and that's why I got the foul. I'm sure the Celtics might have wanted somebody else on the line, but it turned out to be me. I'm not afraid of a challenge. Even after I'd missed the first one, once I made the second I knew I'd make the third."

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