The Boston Celtics weren't looking out for Larry Bird Monday night. But neither were the Indiana Pacers.
The Celtics didn't run many plays for Bird, but when the All-Star forward did get the ball he found himself alone enough to connect on seven of 10 shots from 3-point range, leading Boston to a a 126-101 rout of the Pacers at the Hartford Civic Center.Bird matched his own club record for 3-pointers in a game and finished with 29 points.
"We didn't get to him," Pacers Coach Bob Hill said. "You can't leave him open."
A number of times in the first half, the Pacers, who tried four different players defensively against Bird, left Boston's All-Star forward all alone at the 3-point line.
Bird connected on five of six 3-pointers in the first half, shooting the Celtics into a 17-point lead.
"When the first two went down, it got kind of easy," said Bird, who is 19-for-32 from 3-point range in his last three games. "There weren't a lot of plays for me, so I had to take what I could get."
Bird, who finished 10 of 18 from the floor, matched his club record 3-point total set April 3, 1988 against Dallas.
Rookie Dee Brown, making his first start in place of injured point guard Brian Shaw, finished with a season-high 22 points.
"There weren't a lot of plays called for Larry tonight," Boston Coach Chris Ford said. "The credit goes to Dee for penetrating and kicking it back out to him."
Kevin Gamble scored 19 points, Robert Parish finished with 17, Reggie Lewis had 15 and Kevin McHale chipped in with 14.
Reggie Miller led Indiana with 21 points and Detlef Schrempf scored 20.
Mavericks 102, Nets 100
At Dallas, Rolando Blackman made two free throws after time expired to climax the Mavericks' comeback. It was the ninth straight road loss for the Nets, who had a 12-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Blackman had managed only seven points going into the fourth quarter, but scored Dallas's last 12 beginning with 3:39 remaining to finish with 21.
Suns 126, Hornets 93
At Charlotte, N.C., Dan Majerle scored 21 points and Kevin Johnson added 19 points and dished out 10 assists to lead the Suns' rout, their third straight victory. Johnson did all of his work in the first three quarters, hitting six of 10 from the floor and all seven of his free throws. He had 15 points and six assists at the half. Xavier McDaniel and Cedric Ceballos grabbed seven rebounds apiece, leading the Suns to a 52-38 domination on the boards.
Sonics 105, Warriors 99
At Oakland, Calif., Ricky Pierce sank a pair of free throws with 21.7 seconds left and Sedale Threatt scored 24 points to lead the SuperSonics. With Seattle ahead 101-99, Pierce was fouled and made them both for a 103-99 lead. The Warriors missed a pair of 3-point shots in the closing seconds.