CELTICS NOTEBOOK ARCHIBALD DRIVES DAZZLE
Tiny Archibald was the recipient of the nightly MVP award for an outing that included a season-high 24 points and 10 assists. The little guy dazzled the crowd with some of his drives. He was able to beat his man, usually Kenny Higgs, and then complete the play because the Nuggets have no defensive intimidation. As proof of that statement, consider that the Celtics blocked 12 shots to Denver's none.
Kevin McHale enjoyed a phenomenal second-period sequence that left the crowd agog. The Garden patrons are used to McHale's extraordinary where-did- he-come-from shot-blocking ability, but he really distinguished himself this time. The Nuggets were leading by a 37-36 score when McHale got downcourt to block both a Glen Gondrezick and a David Thomspon shot on the same possession, before turning around and finishing off a fast break with an artful driving three-point play . . . The Nuggets, now 0-3 on their road trip, have been outscored by a 128-121 average margin in those games . . . Robert Parish found out exactly what the crowd thinks of him when he fouled out with 1:17 left after playing a (for him) so-so game and received a tremendous standing ovation.-
Denver's defensive shortcoming were obvious, but the Nuggets did try very hard. "Doug (Moe) and the team should both be complimented," contended Bill Fitch. "If they play that way all the time, they must be playing some good teams. They are definitely better than their record." . . . Boston racked up 40 fast-break points to Denver's 16, but lost the battle of second-chance points, 33-14 . . . Larry Bird had all his 27 in the first three periods. It was an odd night for him, in that he shot very well (13 for 19), but passed in an oft-bizarre manner, accumulating seven turnovers as a result. Usually if he's shooting well he's also passing well . . . Chris Ford played 32 minutes with his bad left shoulder, scoring just four points. But Gerry Henderson turned in a solid two-way effort. "Give Gerry and Robert the defensive game ball," said Fitch . . . The Celtics begin their six-game road trip tomorrow at Madison Square Garden (Ch. 7, WBZ, 12:30 p.m.).