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NBA Playoffs Roundup : Parish's Jumper Decides It for Celtics, 108-104

April 24, 1987|From Times Wire Services

The Chicago Bulls took their best shot, but it wasn't quite good enough.

Instead, Robert Parish's 12-foot jumper broke a tie with 37 seconds left, and the Boston Celtics survived a threat to their home-court domination by edging the Bulls, 108-104, Thursday night in the opener of their NBA playoff series.

"We tried to get the ball to Larry (Bird)," Boston Coach K.C. Jones said. "But he wasn't there, so we got it to Robert, and he went up and took the shot like he owned it."

Parish's basket gave Boston a 106-104 lead, and all they had to do to keep it was stop NBA scoring champion Michael Jordan, who ended the evening with 35 points.

He never got off a shot at the end.

"I tried to drive and I'd either pass to (Charles) Oakley or I'd draw the foul," Jordan said.

While Jordan was airborne, Bird, Kevin McHale and Dennis Johnson triple-teamed him and forced a pass. The recipient, Brad Sellers, was standing on the base line, and Boston took possession with 19 seconds left.

Johnson iced the Celtics' 30th straight home victory and 14th consecutive win over the Bulls by making two free throws with nine seconds left.

The teams set an NBA record for free throw shooting in a playoff game by making 95.7% of their shots. Chicago hit 27 of 28 and Boston 18 of 19. The previous record of 93.2% was set by Boston and Philadelphia on May 12, 1985.

Boston led by as many as 21 points in the first half and was still ahead, 95-81, with 7:37 left before Chicago rallied to tie the score, 100-100, on Jordan's two free throws with 2:10 remaining.

"Our defense limited their shots in the second half," Jordan said of the rally. "We put pressure on their guards and we rotated well. I think our defense changed what they were doing, and we got back in the game."

Johnson and Chicago's Sedale Threatt traded baskets; Bird hit two free throws, and Threatt connected on a jumper, tying the score, 104-104, with 55 seconds left before Parish put the Celtics ahead for good.

Boston, 6-0 in the regular season against Chicago, won for the 76th time in its last 77 games at Boston Garden. The best-of-five series resumes at the Garden Sunday.

Boston, seeking to become the first repeat champions since the 1969 Celtics, got 21 points from McHale. Danny Ainge added 20, Parish 19. Bird was limited to 17 points but had 13 assists.

Oakley added 21 points for the Bulls, and Gene Banks had 19.

Dallas 151, Seattle 129--Mark Aguirre scored 28 points, and rookie Roy Tarpley added 25 to pace a record-setting offensive show at Dallas as the Mavericks took the opener of their series with the SuperSonics.

Game 2 of the series is Saturday night at Dallas.

The Mavericks set a club record for most points in a game and hit 59.6% of their field-goal attempts. Dallas built a lead of as many as 38 points in the fourth quarter, which Aguirre spent on the bench.

Dallas' previous playoff scoring high was 139 points in a double-overtime game with Portland two years ago. The Mavericks' previous high for all games was 149.

Rolando Blackman and Derek Harper both scored 18 points for the Mavericks. James Donaldson had 15, Sam Perkins 12 and Brad Davis, Detlef Schrempf and Bill Wennington 10 apiece.

Tom Chambers scored 35 points for Seattle, and Dale Ellis had 22, including 16 in the second quarter.

Utah 99, Golden State 85--Karl Malone and Thurl Bailey each scored 20 points, and the Jazz held off the Warriors in their playoff opener at Salt Lake City.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be Saturday night at Salt Lake City.

The Jazz led, 89-72, with 6:03 left, but Golden State, in its first playoff game since 1977, scored 11 consecutive points to come within 89-83 before falling back.

Joe Barry Carroll had 18 points for the Warriors, Eric (Sleepy) Floyd 17.

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