2.18.2016

Jo Jo's Number Hoisted


Two championship rings . . . a lifetime 21 points a game playoff scorer, four points a game higher than his regular-season average . . . sixth all-time Celtics' scorer . . . fourth all-time Celtics' assist man . . . And now, the 14th Celtics' player to have his number retired. Meet Jo Jo White.

Jo Jo's No. 10 went up to Rafter Heaven in a nice ceremony prior to last night's pennant-clinching game with the Nets. Present for the occasion were his wife, two children and parents, as well as his Celtics coach, Tom Heinsohn, and teammates Dave Cowens (a one-time roommate), Satch Sanders and Hank Finkel. Jo Jo, now an assistant basketball coach at the University of Kansas, his alma mater, played nine-plus seasons for the Celtics, participating in 717 of his 824 NBA games, but the one for which he will always be rightfully remembered was on June 4, 1976, the famed triple overtime playoff conquest of Phoenix. White was the only Celtic player to maintain a shooting touch throughout the grueling affair, canning seven of his final eight shots while scoring 15 of his 33 points in the overtimes.

The Celtics went into the game needing either a victory or a 76er loss last night in order to clinch their third straight Atlantic Division title, since in the event the Rte. 95 rivals had both done the same thing, the Celtics would have been guaranteed an edge in tie-breakers . . . The only other team in NBA history to win 60 games three years in a row was the Milwaukee Bucks of 1970-73 . . . Robert Parish's 36 points tied a personal season high . . . He had 16 points in the first period, which was a comedown from his last first period against the Nets. He had 18 points against them in the first period back on March 12. That night he had 26 by the half; last night he had 24.

After a glorious 15-game run, Larry Bird has ceased being Mr. Automatic from the outside. His 7-for-17 showing last night made him 18 for 50 in his last three games . . . M.L. Carr. a dandy 2-for-19 shooter in his two previous games, hit his first two shots quickly en route to an 11-point evening.

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