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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Bird, Celtics soar past Rockets for 14th title
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

May 14, 1981

Houston Rockets center Moses Malone predicts the Boston Celtics will be drinking Gatorade, not champagne, after Game 6 of the Finals. Wrong.

The Celtics are gulping champagne after winning their first title in the Bird era. Larry Bird, in his second season with Boston, had scored only 8, 8 and 12 points in the previous three games, but breaks out tonight with 27 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in Boston's 102-91 victory in Houston.

After the Rockets close a 17-point deficit to 86-83, Bird scores seven points in 2 1/2 minutes. "They came close, but I knew we were going to win," says Bird, who shot 7-of-10 in the second half. "The coach (Bill Fitch) kept calling my play and I knew I could make it."

The Celtics' other forward, Cornbread Maxwell, is voted the Finals MVP. He scores 19 and has five assists. While this is Boston's 14th NBA title, it is the first for every member of the team.

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