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Celtics Drop Royals at Boston Garden

Jan. 10, 1964 - The Cincinnati Royals’ rush to overtake the Boston Celtics was derailed temporarily tonight as they absorbed a sound 109-92 thrashing and had a four-game win streak broken by the Celts before 12,780 at Boston Garden. Sam Jones’ hot shooting from outside, all-around hustle by John Havlicek, and inspired rebounding by Bill Russell more than offset fine performances by the Royals’ Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas.

The Celtics held only a 49-48 lead at the intermission. But they opened the second half with a rush, and the Royals never got untracked as a 34-17 edge in the third period locked up Boston’s triumph. Sam Jones (pictured) scored 14 points in that quarter, including five long shots in a row, and wound up as Boston’s high scorer with 28 points — four less than Cincinnati’s Oscar Robertson. The two contenders for Eastern Division laurels now are all even in eight encounters this season, but the Celtics hold a 2½-game lead in the division race.

Old friend Bob Cousy was on hand to lend his annual helpful hand to cystic fibrosis, and while Cousy sat in the press row there were a few murmurs for him to go and put on a uniform in the closely contested first half. But once Havlicek put the lock on the Big O’s brilliance, Celtic fans sat back and enjoyed the good fortune Havlicek was having with the great star of the Royals. They figure to be tough rivals down to the end, these Celtics and Royals, with rookie Jerry Lucas looking so good for Cincinnati. The former Ohio State star fouled out midway through the last quarter. Tom Heinsohn and Tom Sanders shouldn’t be slipped past in the bouquet tossing. Both worked hard on the offensive boards, and the rebounding figures showed the Celtics badly outmauling the Royals, 74-55.

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