BOSTON (AP)-Larry Bird, Boston's
brilliant second-year forward, scored
18 points, grabbed 21 rebounds and led a
fourth-quarter surge that carried the
Celtics to a 98-95 victory over the
Houston Rockets last night in the
opening game of the National Basket-
ball Association championship series.
The second game of the best-of-seven
playoff finals will be played here Thur-
sday night before the series shifts to
Houston for Games 3 and 4 Saturday
THE ROCKETS, making their first
appearance in the title series, led for all
of the first half and most of the second.
before Boston scored eight points in a
row to take a 96-91 lead with 2:55 to
The Celtics' Robert Parish started
the spurt by converting an offensive
rebound, Bird hit a jumper from the left
corner, M.L. Carr scored on a fast
break following a steal by Bird and
Cedric Maxwell capped the burst with
another fastbreak basket after a
rebound by Bird.
Two baskets by Tom Henderson
brought the Rockets within one, 96-95,
with 1:29 to go. Three times the Celtics
missed shots, but each time they
managed to get the rebound and main-
tain possession until Bird finally sank
the clinching layup with 19 seconds left.
RUDY TOMJANOVICH missed a
three-point try for the Rockets in the
It was the 12th straight victory for the
Celtics over the Rockets, a streak that
dates back to Dec. 12, 1978. The loss
dropped Houston's record at Boston
Garden to a dismal 3-31.
Parish added 16 points for the Celtics.
Robert Reid was high scorer for
Houston with 27 points. Houston's All-
Star center, Moses Malone, was limited
to 13 and was shutout in the fourth quar-
FORWARD WAS supposed to be
Houston's weakness in the matchups
against the Celtics, but it was the
Rockets' forwards, Billy Paultz and
Reid, who scored 10 points apiece as
Houston jumped to a 22-8 lead in the
Three-point plays by Chris Ford and
Carr helped Boston close the gap to 29-
24 at the end of the first quarter, and the
Celtics twice pulled within two during
the second period. But a slam dunk by
Malone capped an 11-3 spurt that helped
Houston maintain a 57-51 lead at half-
Reid had 16 points Paultz 14 for the
Rockets in the first half, while Malone,
scoreless in the first period, had eight
points and 10 rebounds. Reserve guards
Gerald Henderson was Boston's leading
scorer at halftime with 11 points, all of
them in the second quarter, while Bird
had eight points and 11 rebounds.
The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, May 6, 1981-Page 25
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