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NBA Roundup : Pistons Nip Bird-less Celtics in Overtime

March 09, 1987| From Times Wire Services

With or without Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics are a tough team to beat.

Detroit had to go into overtime before beating Boston, playing without Bird, 122-119, Sunday before 33,869 in the Pontiac Silverdome.

Bird was sidelined with a sprained back and the Celtics' Fred Roberts started in his place.

Isiah Thomas had 22 points and 17 assists for the Pistons, who outscored Boston, 8-1, in the first 2:31 of overtime and took a 117-110 lead.

Danny Ainge hit a three-point shot and Kevin McHale made a basket to bring the Celtics right back with 1:07 left.

Ainge scored a season-high 35 points. McHale, who scored 38 points in the teams' last meeting only a week ago, was held to 22 points.

K.C. Jones, Boston coach, thought the Pistons were literally holding McHale.

"I was really surprised Kevin didn't get calls," Jones said. "And that's the only way you're going to hold Kevin down, hammering him and pushing him."

Adrian Dantley scored a team-high 28 points for the Pistons. Robert Parish scored 32 points for Boston.

Detroit could not pull away until the overtime period.

"We never really caught stride until the fourth quarter," Thomas said. "I don't think it was a matter of them dictating tempo as it was our own ineptitude."

Chicago 115, Dallas 105--Charles Oakley scored 20 points for the Bulls in the overtime win at Chicago, then said he is "tired of doing all the dirty work." He added: "I can't understand why he (Bulls Coach Doug Collins) takes me out when I either make a mistake or am not scoring."

Michael Jordan had 33 points for Chicago, despite missing his first 11 shots of the game.

Oakley had a pair of dunks and two free throws in overtime.

"I don't care how many points Jordan scored, the bottom line is that if he (Oakley) does not do his job, the Bulls are in trouble," Collins said. "I have told him repeatedly not to get discouraged in other areas of his game."

Dallas played without Mark Aguirre, its leading scorer, who has torn ligaments in his right knee. Rolando Blackman 28 points for the Mavericks.

Golden State 137, San Antonio 111--Joe Barry Carroll had 22 points and the Warriors pulled away after a 14-0 third quarter surge at Oakland.

The Warriors pushed a 76-64 lead to 90-64 as Sleepy Floyd scored six points during the surge.

Rod Higgins and Chris Mullin had 16 points for Golden State. David Greenwood led the Spurs with 16 and Johnny Moore added 15.

Portland 119, Houston 93--Kiki Vandeweghe scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half as the Trail Blazers won easily at home.

Portland outscored Houston, 65-44, in the second half. Houston center Akeem Olajuwon scored only 12 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul with 10:28 left in the game.

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