Ainge Leads Way Over Mavs

 Celtics Improve to 41-15
1981-82 Boston Celtics

Aye, 'twas a fine sight indeed. Not only were the pipes a callin' for young Danny; so, too, were the jumps shots a fallin'.

Translation: Danny Ainge traded in his Mason's Union card at halftime for an AFTRA card. He went from zero to hero, pronto. After missing all four shots in the first half, he sank all five in the second, scoring 17 points in all as the Celtics held off the Mavericks, 101-97. "We wouldn't have won without Danny tonight," said Cedric Maxwell. "He came through in the clutch. I think everybody was with him tonight."

Ainge, whose previous professional high had been 12 points, had been getting increasingly frustrated lately as jumper after jumper clanged off the rim. "Sure, I was getting discouraged," he admitted, "because I know I can shoot. I just haven't been playing as well as I can. In the first half I was a little bit hesitant coming off the bench. I came out after missing those four shots and I said, Damn, I hope I get back in.' When I did get back in, Bill Fitch told me to go in and play the way I know how."

Ainge knew that in other areas of his play, he's been better. Twice he lost the ball on fast breaks for damaging turnovers. But it was essential he establish his scoring credentials, because he will always be his raison d'etre.-

Robert Parish just continues to play like an All-Universe center, scoring 27 points, hauling in a game-high 14 rebounds and blocking 6 shots. The blocks gave him a total of 17 in his last four games . . . Kevin McHale scored a back-breaking basket when he took off as soon as Mark Aguirre launched a three-pointer and took a Parish touchdown pass for a buzzer-beating dunk at the end of the third period . . . M. L. Carr played a season-high 40 minutes. "Haven't done that since Detroit," he grinned.-

Gerry Henderson's play did not equal his last four efforts, but Fitch said, "He still made a contribution on an off night, which is significant." . . . From Dick Motta: "We just can't get a call, and they get things like a five-second inbounds violation in three and a half seconds. I used to get those calls when I had a good club in Washington; and I used to take them in stride."

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