Celtics (65 shots) Drub Knicks (91 shots)
November 21, 1982
The Knicks held the Boston Celtics without a basket for 8 minutes 21 seconds in the final period last night at Madison Square Garden. But the best New York could do during that time was cut a 12-point deficit to 7, and the Knicks lost, 97-83.
It was the fifth straight victory for the Celtics and their ninth in 11 games this season. The Knicks took their second straight loss and their ninth in 12 games.
The Knicks exhibited the same problem that has plagued them all season - good defense but little offense. It was the seventh game the Knicks have limited their opponents to fewer than 100 points. But it was also the eighth time the Knicks have been unable to score 100 and the fifth game they have been unable to hit the 90-point mark.
While the Knicks were struggling to shoot 41 percent, the Celtics shot 57 percent. Boston was led by its punishing front line of Robert Parish, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, which combined for 63 points. Parish had 22 points, Bird 21 and McHale, who came off the bench, added 20. With Parish hitting on all nine of his shots and McHale missing only twice in nine attempts, the three connected on 28 of 35 shots.
Celtics Score Under Pressure
''I don't think I've had a better night of shooting than tonight since I came to the Celtics,'' said Parish. The Celtics took only 65 shots from the floor, compared with 91 for the Knicks. Most of the Celtic baskets, especially Bird's jump shots, came under the pressure of the Knick defense and with the 24-second clock almost running out.
''In this league when you are able to get an open 15-foot jumper, you better make it,'' said Bird, who shot 10 for 17. ''We were able to get the open shots, and you've got to take them when you can when you've got a team like the Knicks putting pressure on you.''
When the Celtics were not shooting open jumpers, Parish and McHale, too big and strong for the Knicks to handle, went inside for easy baskets, especially in the opening minutes of the game when they converted five offensive rebounds into baskets.
Tough Under Boards
With Parish and Bird getting 12 rebounds each and McHale adding seven, the Celtics outrebounded the Knicks, 49-28. Off the defensive boards, the Celtic margin was 37-13. The Knicks were just unable to box out the Celtics.
''It's tough for them to box out,'' said McHale, ''because they are playing so many different defenses, zones and traps, and they don't have a specific man to guard. I got a lot of easy baskets on offensive rebounds. A lot of that is because we have been shooting so well from the outside and it opens things up for us inside. Still it's tough for a team to score 83 points and win. But the Knicks are a very aggressive team, they throw a furious defense at you.''
Coach Hubie Brown of the Knicks, tagged with his first technical foul of the season in the first period for complaining about the officiating, also pointed to two fourth-quarter incidents.
''It's a 7-point game,'' said Brown, ''and Bernard King flashes into the lane and we get the ball into him, and the guy comes off his back. Instead of of us going to the line, they steal the ball and get a basket. Then Ed Sherod gets a finger in the eye, no call.''
After being hit, Sherod fumbled the ball as he fell. Quinn Buckner stole the ball, and Bill Cartwright then fouled McHale.
Robinson Gets 16
Over all, the Celtics went to the free-throw line for 31 shots against 15 for the Knicks. The most promising aspects of the Knicks' defeat were the performances of Len (Truck) Robinson, who scored 16 points and Sly Williams, who added 14. Robinson, who has been troubled by a bruised finger on his left hand, went into the game with a 9.5 scoring average. He scored 10 points within a little more than four minutes in the opening quarter.
''The dressing came off the finger,'' said Robinson, ''and it feels good. I'll do better. The dressing was bothering me mentally.'' The Celtics began to assert themselves on the boards from the opening tapoff and by the end of the quarter they had outrebounded the Knicks, 17-6. Still, the Knicks were able to keep close in the first half with their harassing defenses and traps, despite 28 points from McHale and Parish.
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