On this day: Celtics win ’81 championship vs. Rockets; Braun signed
On this day in Boston Celtics history, the 62-20 Boston Celtics won their 14th NBA Championship with a 102-91 Game 6 triumph over the Houston Rockets in 1981 on their home floor despite going five minutes late in the game without a basket.
Forward Larry Bird led the Celtics with 27 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists, and forward Cedric Maxwell chipped in 19 points, 5 boards, and 6 assists. center Robert Parish added 18 points and 6 rebounds. Shooting guard Robert Reed scored 27 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists for Houston, and legendary big man Moses Malone added 23 points and 16 boards.
Maxwell was awarded Finals MVP for his performance against the Rockets, who, at 42-40, were the last team in league history to make the NBA Finals with a losing record.
Boston Celtics center Rick Robey (53). Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.
Backup big man Rick Robey said before the game (via the AP’s Alex Sachare) that what Houston big Moses “Malone said got our blood boiling” after the Rockets’ 91-86 win in Game 4.
Robey’s comments refer to remarks by Malone after the Game 4 win that saw the Houston center claim that the Celtics weren’t very good and that he could take four guys off the street of his hometown.
(AP Photo/Paul Benoit)
“None of us appreciated his comments,” offered Boston forward Kevin McHale.”I think he was just blowing smoke because they won their second game Sunday. If we win the championship, I don’t think he’ll have much to say.”
The Celtics would of course end up winning the series despite Malone’s opinion of the team.
Boston Celtics Bob Cousy, 14 gets the ball knocked out of reach by New York knickerbockers Carl Braun, 4, who manages to outjump him in the first quarter of a pro basketball game in Madison Square Garden, on Feb. 16, 1954, in New York. Knicks’ Nat Clifton, makes up the third part of the triangle as Cousy fails to score. In the right background is Boston Bob Donham, 12. (AP Photo/MZ)
On this day in 1961, former Boston Celtics point guard Carl Braun signed with the team in free agency after being waived by the New York Knicks.
The last stop in a 13-season career interrupted for two years by military service, Braun would win a championship with the Celtics in a reserve role.
He averaged 3.7 points, a rebound, and 1.5 assists in his sole season with Boston, and would be elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019.
Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (5) dunks in Game 5 of an NBA Eastern Conference semifinal basketball series in Boston on Wednesday, May 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Today is the anniversary of a 96-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the 2008 NBA Eastern Conference semifinals despite 35 points and 5 assists from LeBron James.
Kevin Garnett led Boston with 26 points and 16 rebounds, and Paul Pierce added 29 points and 7 boards. Point guard Rajon Rondo chipped in 20 points and 13 rebounds.
“This momentum, and what we did here tonight,” KG said via ESPN, “we’ve got to figure a way to carry this on the road.”
(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
It is also the birthday of Celtics sharpshooter and current-day broadcaster Eddie House. Born this day in 1978 in Berkeley, California, House played his college ball at Arizona State.
Drafted by the Miami Heat in 2000, the Californian would play for that team. the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, (then) Charlotte Bobcats (now, Hornets), Sacramento Kings, Phoenix Suns, and New Jersey (now, Brooklyn) Nets before signing with Boston in 2007.
House would of course win a title with the Celtics before leaving to join the New York Knicks after he, Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens were traded to the Knicks for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry.
Happy birthday Mark Minor! You were drafted with the ninth pick in the eleventh round of the 1972 NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. Couldn’t find any media of you with the good guys but did find footage of the brawl you were part of when you played at Ohio State: pic.twitter.com/IgWP9D25wM
— Honest☘️Larry (@HonestLarry1) May 14, 2021
Finally, House shares his birthday with forward Mark Minor, born this day in 1950.
The Ohio State alum would be drafted by Boston in 1972, and played 4 games for the Celtics in the 1972-73 season over that very short stretch.
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