CELTICS NOTEBOOK STREAK IS LONGEST IN 16 YEARS
Before the game, Paul Silas had been raving about the brilliant play of Freeman Williams during December, even suggesting that his high-scoring guard was a legitimate candidate for Player of the Month. His man then submitted a miserable 3-for-14 outing to start off January. With any kind of normal Williams production (he had averaged 30 ppg in his previous nine games), the Clippers might have ended the Celtics' winning streak . . . Ah, yes, the winning streak. It has now reached 12, and that equals the longest Celtic win skein in the last 16 years. The Celtics have also won eight straight on the road and are 4-0 since starting this trip on Christmas day.-
The Clippers were deprived of the services of Sidney Wicks, a starting forward and the prime backup center to Swen Nater . . . Hard to believe, but Tiny Archibald had only three assists. That's where Larry Bird came in handy. He had 10, to give him 36 in the four games on this trip . . . The Celtics looked like certain victims with 43 seconds left when referee Lee Jones called the second offensive foul on Archibald (both on fast breaks) in 31 seconds and the Clippers leading, 85-83. Jones was at least 35 feet away and Archibald was in between him and the alleged foulee. If ever there was a momentum call, this was it.-
The Celtics' obvious superiority was twice manifested in violent scoring bursts when the Clippers had pulled ahead. San Diego led at 35-30 when Boston scored six points in 57 seconds to regain the lead. And with the Clippers ahead by a 75-70 count in the fourth quarter, the Celtics calmly hit them with a 10-0 run that featured sound defense, rugged rebounding and the inside scoring punch of Kevin McHale (14 points) . . . Although it was not a great game for the Celtics, they still did things to distinguish themselves. "In the last two minutes, every one of our starters came up with a big play," said Bill Fitch. What really pleased the Celtic coach was the poise his team displayed down the stretch, especially after the second offensive foul called on Archibald. "That was a heartbreaker, but we didn't let it affect us," lauded Fitch . . . The game in Oakland tonight will be televised at 11 p.m. (Ch. 4) . . . The Celtics blocked nine shots to San Diego's one . . . Maxwell joined the swat team in this game with a season-high three blocks, the same number as McHale.