Bird's Rookie Year: The Lakers Game at Inglewood

December 29, 1979

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The Celtics came up with one of their poorest performances of the season and, in the process, turned the Great Confrontation into the Great Bust, as the Los Angeles Lakers romped to a 123-105 triumph before a capacity Forum crowd of 17,505 last night.

Boston held one five-point lead (21-16), but once LA scored eight straight points to take a 24-21 lead, the Celtics could come only as close as four points once more. Their best shot in the second half came when an eight- point flurry pulled them within eight at 93-85 with 8:34 left. But they had nothing left, and found themselves outscored by a 12-2 count over the next 4:19, giving the Lakers an insurmountable 18-point (105-87) lead.

The advance local billing centered on the Earvin Johnn-Larry Bird Show, but Los Angeles prevailed as the result of strong performances from Jamaal Wilkes, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (especially his passing) and Norm Nixon. Neither Magic nor Bird played his best game, but Magic was the clear winner if a score need be kept between a guard who must have the ball and a forward who moves without it. This was a Laker team triumph, and nothing more.

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