Celtics Top Knicks Despite 26 from Ray Williams (80-81)

January 14, 1981



This ugly duckling of a ballgame nonetheless showcased the Celtics as a professional team that knows how to get things done. For example, playing on the road, the Green and White had but seven second-half turnovers and shot 57 percent in the second half. The Celtics also limited New York to 16 points in the final period and 38 in the second half. A coach has to like an effort like that.

A beaming locker-room visitor was Tommy John, a Terre Haute buddy of Larry Bird. Another noted Celtic fan in attendance was the New York Giants' All-Pro punter, Dave Jennings, as well as famed New York radio personality, singer and author Jonathan Schwartz, whose Celtic ardor is surpassed only by his Red Sox fervor . . . The Knicks played wihout Sly Williams, who suffered another sprained ankle in a Monday workout. The former Rhode Island star missed five December games with his original sprained ankle (and was ineffective in many more games as a direct reult of the injury), as well as two more with the flu. He'll be out at least 10 days more . . . Larry Demic took Sly's starting spot and contributed a solid, silent 12 points (plus four offensive rebounds) on 6- for-7 shooting.

New York timer Nat (Feets) Broudy is a sly devil indeed. Give him credit for slicing at least four seconds off the clock in the third period. New York went ahead, 63-61, on a Bill Cartwright jumper at 4:04, prompting an almost immediate Boston timeout. But when they walked off the floor, the clock read 3:59. Feetsie had clipped at least four seconds off the clock . . . Four Knick starters logged 40 minutes or more, with only Demic (28) not hitting that figure . . . Robert Parish battled personals, but had a steady 16-point, 13- rebound game.

The Celtics return home tonight to face Cleveland in the start of a 7 1/2 -game home stand. Seven and a half? Surely you don't think Bill Fitch will allow anyone to label the Jan. 19 game in Hartford as a "home game," do you? . . . The Celtics will play San Antonio, Los Angeles, Utah, Indiana, Seattle and, finally, Philadelphia, before hitting the road on Jan. 29 in Chicago . . . The Celtics have now won five straight, 17 of 18 and 32 of 38 games since Oct. 23, when they dropped an overtime decision to the Knicks in Hartford . . . Boston has also won 11 of its last 12 road decisions, dating back to Nov. 22 . . . Bill Fitch on Kevin (Mr. Fourth Quarter) McHale: "Somebody give me a ballot and I'll vote him for Rookie of the Year." . . . Too bad the Celtics can't win the close ones, eh? In their last three contests they have won in OT, come from 12 down with five minutes to go on the road and pulled off last night's classy comeback.

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