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Royals Take Season Series from Celtics

Mar. 5, 1964 - The Royals salvaged prestige, recorded a couple of firsts in their history, and gave their morale for the upcoming playoffs a powerful shot in the arm with a 111-101 triumph over their bitterest rivals, the Boston Celtics, tonight before 11,854 at Cincinnati Gardens. The victory, paced by Oscar Robertson’s 27 points, 17 assists, and 15 rebounds, and Jerry Lucas’s 22 points and 22 rebounds, gave the Royals the season series with the Celtics, 7-5, the first time they’ve managed this feat in Cincinnati history.

The huge crowd, second largest ever to watch the Royals at home, raised the season attendance to 208,015, the first time in history the Royals have gone over the 200,000 mark. And the Royals’ bench, especially Arlen Bockhorn, Tom Hawkins, and Larry Staverman, lent a powerful hand as the Royals took the lead early and never trailed through the final three quarters.

“We have proven to everyone we are capable of beating them,” Cincinnati coach Jack McMahon said. “But don’t get me wrong — if we finish second, we have to beat Philadelphia first, and we’re certainly not going to look past them.”

McMahon admitted that if Boston wins the regular season title — which appears likely — it will be a great advantage for them going into the playoffs. “In that case, they can sit around and mend their ills while we slug it out with Philly.”

Boston coach Red Auerbach was unusually quiet after the game, but he offered no excuses and had no gripes. “We wanted a split in these two games [last night and tonight], and that’s what we got,” Auerbach said. “Now all we want to do is clinch the championship and sit back and watch them [the Royals] and Philadelphia battle each other. We’ll be ready at playoff time.”

Asked when the last time was that his team lost a season series, he replied: “I can’t remember. But I don’t pay much attention to that. What we are concerned with is the overall picture. That’s what brings the championship.”


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