Celtics (57-18) vs. Detroit (16-60)
March 20, 1980
The Celtics picked up a fourth straight victory with a beatdown, 124-106, of the Pistons in Detroit. Combined with two straight losses by the 76ers (54-22), the Celtics were four games ahead of Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division standings with only six games remaining on the schedule. The magic number for the Celtics to win the division and secure a first-round bye now stood at three.
Larry Bird struggled all night, not displaying the offensive prowess he had shown a year earlier in March of 1979. He shot 4-14 from the field, and though he grabbed seven rebounds and seven assists, Bird also picked up a game-high eight turnovers. Bill Fitch talked to the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan after the game about a rare lackluster performance:
“Of all the games this season this is the one I’ll remember because Bird proved he was human,” said Fitch. “It wasn’t his shooting, it was his passes, his decisions on the floor, ...