Celtics (43-13) vs. Phoenix (37-20)
February 13, 1980
Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Phoenix recovered from the Celtics’ 42 points explosion in the third quarter and a twelve point deficit to come back and defeat the Celtics, 135-134.
Larry Bird had his most impressive game in his rookie season, pouring in 45 points. The Suns gushed over Bird’s performance to the Globe’s Bob Ryan after the victory:
Said Sun coach John MacLeod: “I don’t know what else you would want the man to do. That was a hellacious 45, but when you’re making six or seven three-pointers (actually, it was three), it adds up in a hurry.”
“Larry Bird,” kidded Paul Westphal. “I think he’s going to be a player some day.”
Unfortunately for the Celtics, the individual record did not trump the loss on a night where Philadelphia won. Bird confirmed to reporters after the game that it was the most point he had ever scored in a losing effort. He was in the midst of a particular hot stretch behind the three-point