CELTICS NOTEBOOK BIRD RESTED DURING BLOWOUT
Harvey Catchings suffered a suspected separated shoulder in the second quarter. The Milwaukee backup center and power forward came down hard while goaltending a Tiny Archibald sneakaway basket with 7:33 left in the half. He was taken to University Hospital for X-rays . . . Robert Parish started slowly but finished strongly in the second half to wind up with 16 points, 11 rebounds and a new team record (with apologies to No. 6) seven blocked shots.
Kevin McHale bagged three, and he put on a sensational second-half display for his parents and sister who are visiting here from Hibbing, Minn. . . . Both sides were far from pleased with the officiating of Paul Mihalak and Bill Saar, who did appear to be out of sync with this very physical game . . . Milwaukee picked up eight fast-break points in the first period, two in the second quarter and none at all in the entire second half.
The Celtics had a nice 6-5-10-12 distribution in fast-break points . . . Tiny Archibald exhibited the unmatchable floor leadership only a veteran can provide down the stretch . . . Cedric Maxwell missed his first five free throws. When he missed No. 5, the first of a two-shotter, he strode to the midcourt circle as the crowd gave him an encouraging cheer. He swished attempt No. 6, and the crowd really erupted. Ah, there really is no place like home . . . The Bucks are now 12-5 on the road with that loss . . . The stat sheet says Junior Bridgeman missed nine of his 15 shot attempts, but the mind still sees the ball swishing relentlessly from 20 feet . . . The Celtics will play the Bullets in Landover, Md., tonight (Ch. 4, WBZ, 8 p.m.).
It's not too often that Bill Fitch takes Larry Bird out of a game with six minutes to play, especially when he's playing well. But with the Celtics leading by an 89-83 score and 6:38 remaining last night, Fitch decided it was time to give Larry a rest. Bird then sat and watched as his mates blew up that shaky six-point lead into a margin that eventually stopped at the final spread of 23 at 112-89.
"I never dreamed when I took Larry out," said Fitch, "that he'd never get back in, but I had to give him some rest. Otherwise, he would have wound up going 48 and been too tired to show up at the airport tomorrow."