November 22, 1980
CELTICS CATCH WARRIORS, 108-106
Tiny Archibald and Robert Parish paced a spectacular second-half comeback, combining for 25 points after intermission, as the Celtics overtook the Golden State Warriors, 108-106, last night at the Garden for their sixth straight victory.
Boston stumbled through the first half, trailing by 19 points, 64-45, at the intermission.
But Parish scored 11 points and Archibald collected nine in the third quarter as the Celtics climbed to within four points, 81-77.
Boston opened the final period with an 11-3 run and held on for its 10th victory in the last 12 games. The Celtics built a 100-92 margin with 4:44 remaining before Golden State staged a late but futile spurt.
Larry Bird led Boston with 27 points. Cedric Maxwell contributed 18 points, Parish 17 and Archibald 15.
Lloyd Free hit a game-high 32 points and Joe Barry Carroll added 18 for Golden State.
The Warriors broke fast, with Carroll leading the way. He scored six of his team's first eight points, each basket showing off the rookie's versatility. He hit an 8-footer, then a short hook, then a stuff shot. The Celtics trailed from the outset but tied the game at 10-10 on Chris Ford's 18- footer.
Golden State led all the way to the half from there, however, stretching the lead to six at 26-20 midway in the first period when Larry Smith hit a layup and the shot-happy Free hit a long jumper.
The Warriors stretched the lead to nine at 35-26 by the end of the period, scoring the final five points on a dunk by Carroll on which he was fouled for a three-pointer and then a 14-footer by Free, who held the ball for the final shot.
Celtic coach Bill Fitch replaced Parish with Rick Robey midway in the first period in an apparent effort to wear down Carroll. But Robey proved ineffective and Parrish reentered at the nine-minute mark.
The Celtics figured to make progress in the second period when the Warriors substituted freely with an allegedly weak bench. The reverse soon occurred, though, as the visitors stretched their lead to 12 (47-35) halfway through the period. Free continued to score, and so did backups Purvis Short, Rickey Brown and Sonny Parker.
After a careless first period in which he traveled twice, Bird had a terrible sequence late in the second quarter when he missed a slam dunk and on the next exchange threw a pass directly into the hands of Brown. It produced two more quick Golden State points, and the score mounted to 61-45 with a minute remaining. After a Celtic miss and a quick exchange of errors, Free again set up the final shot, made it, was fouled and hit the shot for a 64-45 Warrior lead at halftime.
Ford hit a basket to open the second half, but Free made it a 19-point advantage for Golden State again with two foul shots. But quickly, Boston ran in seven points on an Archibald sneakaway, a Ford basket and a three-point play by Parish. The Warriors called time out at 68-54.
Soon the lead was down to 10 points as Archibald scored two breakaway baskets, and with 5:14 left in the period, the Warriors called time again to try once more to stem the Celtics and their sellout crowd of 15,320.
But Boston narrowed it to eight at 81-73 with 1:40 left in the period on an Archibald three-pointer. Meanwhile, Bird was removed from the game after slamming hard to the floor while making a runaway stuff shot. He was replaced by Kevin McHale.
The lead was narrowed to six on two foul shots by Parish. Soon McHale was fouled while driving for the basket, and he made two foul shots to reduce the margin to 81-77 with 22 seconds left in the period. Free missed two shots near the buzzer to end the period.