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Celtics Take 2-0 Lead over Royals in NBA Eastern Finals

Apr. 2, 1964 - Boston toyed with injury-riddled Cincinnati a second straight time and swept to a 101-90 triumph tonight that gave the Celtics a commanding 2-0 lead in the NBA Eastern Division playoff finals. Another capacity house of 13,909 at Boston Gardens watched Boston take the lead for good midway in the first quarter, hold command the rest of the way, and outclass the Royals in nearly every respect.

Oscar Robertson did his part despite a bruised tendon in his right forearm, scoring a team high of 30 points, but Jerry Lucas — still in pain from a back injury, jumping only half as high as he usually does and simply unable to move with any kind of positive action — went through another painful, depressing night. He scored only three free throws, missed all seven shots he took from the field, and grabbed only seven rebounds in 30 minutes.

Bill Russell, as usual, hurt the Royals badly with his defense and rebounding, and Tom Heinsohn, with 31 points, and Sam Jones, with 25, killed them on offense. K.C. Jones was excellent for the Celtics also, handing off eight assists, keeping his club moving, and battling Oscar every inch of the way.

“Here we are,” said Cincinnati coach Jack McMahon afterward, “the highest scoring team in the league, and we have 90 and 87 points in the two games. Our shooting is flat. No one had a good game. Oscar got his 30, but that’s average Oscar and they were a hard 30, which I thought was a tribute to K.C. Jones. I thought he was the key for them.”

Someone suggested that Jack Twyman had played well.

“What did he get?” McMahon replied. “27 points? He gives away that many to Heinsohn. All we got was an even break there.”

“I have hopes of salvaging the series,” McMahon continued, “but it’s a tough situation. We not only lose two, but we lost them bad. The disheartening part is this: in both games, Boston wasn’t sensational. It was just our bad play. I attribute it to their being the more aggressive team.”

Boston coach Red Auerbach had a slightly different view. “They played a good ball game,” said Red, “we played a better one. We’re certainly not overconfident by any stretch of the imagination. We really juggled, and it’s been a fine team effort.”

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