CELTICS NOTEBOOK BIRD HAS A FIELD DAY AS STREAK REACHES 9
Yesterday's Celtics-Knicks encounter was the 300th in their 35- year history, not counting playoffs.
There cannot have been too many of them in which a forward had 26 points and 20 rebounds, as Larry Bird did in this 117-108 Boston triumph.
The Celtics have now won nine straight games, which ties last year's longest winning streak . . . Their next game will be tomorrow night in Atlanta . . . Cedric Maxwell abused both Larry Demic and Sly Williams in the first period. He scored three times on lob feeds from three different players (Robert Parish, Chris Ford and Bird) in one strech of less than 60 seconds. Demic picked up three quick fouls, whereupon Sly came in and accumulated two more . . . The Celtic bench did a very good job overall in the second period, as the triumvirate of Rick Robey, Kevin McHale and Gerald Henderson outscored its Knick counterparts, 20-6, in the first half.-
Red Holzman on the game: "Down the stretch, we didn't hit anything and we made errors, while they hit the shots they wanted to take and didn't make any errors." . . . Bill Fitch on Bird: "One area of improvement for him over last year is the fact that he knows he can take over games, and he'll do it. What you saw out there is what we see every night in Boston, which is why we're selling out all the time." . . . The Celtics held New York to 15 points in the fourth period, during which New York shot 5 for 20 . . . Until Bill Cartwright hit one at the buzzer, the Knicks had been outscored by an 18-5 margin after taking a 101-99 lead with 7:08 left.-
Fitch pulled a Holzman in the third period. The Knicks' mentor had called a timeout after the Celtics went ahead by a 72-64 score. New York ripped off two quick baskets, and Fitch called a timeout 20 seconds later, which proved to be a very wise move . . . Bird was 10 for 14 in the second half, and there aren't many types of shots he left unexplored . . . New York won the battle of second-chance points, 16-8, but the Celtics ran a shade better, 24-22.