1985 - 1986 Boston Celtics
G5 Boston Celtics @ Washington Bullets 88-73
McHale Leads Way to Victory
LANDOVER, Md. It was your basic early-November NBA joust. The Washington Bullets shot like dropouts from the Charles Bradley Shooting Academy and were overwhelmed by the glut of ever-ready weaponry at the disposal of Celtics coach K.C. Jones.Last night's 88-73 victory in the Capital Centre pushed the Celtic winning streak to four, provided them with their first blowout of the young season and dented the theory that Washington is on the threshold of joining the power elite in the Eastern Conference.
How bad was Washington?
The Bullets shot 34 percent, hit only 4 of 26 shots in the second period and had a preposterous 51 points at the end of three quarters. The Bullets simply don't seem as threatening without the presence of the maniacal, muscular Rick Mahorn, and Jeff Ruland appeared lost without the support of his beef brother.Manute Bol isn't the answer. Coach Gene Shue didn't resort to the ebony Washington Monument until the Bullets were down by 14 in the third quarter. The 7-foot-7-inch Dinka tribesman took the Celts out of their offensive patterns, but Boston was able to pad its lead while he roamed the floor.
This was not one of those NBA games that was decided in the final two minutes.
If you missed the first seven minutes, you missed everything (except Manute). While the Bullets were clanging to the tune of 28 percent in the first half (15 percent in the second quarter), the Celtics came out hotter than St. Elmo's Fire. Boston made 11 straight shots in the first period after opening the game with a Danny Ainge miss. The heat streak provided a 22-10 cushion, which the Celts sat on for the final three quarters.Ainge (20 points) started the streak with a zone-beating jumper.
Then Kevin McHale (18) scored on a breakaway and Ainge banked one from the left wing. Robert Parish made a great move to the basket and scored on a goaltending violation. Ainge followed with a nifty drive, putting the ball in with his left hand.Jeff Malone tied it, 10-10, but the Celts were just getting warmed up. They reeled off 12 straight points - canning six more shots without a miss. In succession, Dennis Johnson drilled a jumper, Larry Bird (10 points) buried a mortar off the transition, Ainge scored on another lefty drive, McHale beat his man for an easy bucket and Ainge and DJ scored on fast breaks.
It was 22-10 with five mintutes left in the first quarter, and the Celts were shooting 92 percent (11-12). Washington never got closer than six the rest of the way.Jones did not make a substitution in the first quarter, which ended with the Celts leading, 28-20. Bill Walton, Jerry Sichting and Greg Kite started the second quarter with Bird and Ainge.
Then Ainge suffered a slight cut over his right eye and was replaced by Rick Carlisle. Ainge went to the locker room for three stiches, then returned to the bench.Walton picked up two fouls in 1:26 and the Celtic offense went into a mini freeze (4 for 14). Walton got his third foul with 5:54 left in the half and was replaced by Parish.While his teammates tossed boulders, Cliff Robinson led a Bullet rally and Washington closed the gap to six (41-35) with a minute left in the half. A blood-stained Ainge and McHale put the Celts back on top by 10 at intermission.Bullet fans had to be wondering where the beef was. Ruland had four points at halftime.The Bullets were still tossing bricks in the third, and a Bird-to-Ainge (Ken Stabler-to-Cliff Branch) touchdown bomb gave Boston a 55-37 lead after four minutes.After two Washington baskets, Shue summoned Manute.