Last game before pandemic pause; Murphy, Ehlers born

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On this day in Boston Celtics history, there were three games of note where Boston stars had an outstanding game played by the Celtics in the last 30 years.

The first of the trio of contests was a 111-109 overtime road win over the Portland Trail Blazers in 1991 that saw Hall of Fame Celtics small forward Larry Bird put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and a steal to help Boston secure the win. Larry Legend wasn’t especially efficient overall, going 9-of-23 overall, but he shot 2-of-5 from beyond the arc and a perfect 7-of-7 from the free-throw line in 52 total minutes of floor time.

“I would love to have a situation in which we play Portland again this year,” Celtics head coach Chris Ford said at the time via the UPI. “That would mean we’d both be in the finals. I would love it to happen.”

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(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The next was another road game, a 100-86 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in 2008 which saw Celtics champion center Kevin Garnett score 26 points and 12 rebounds on a hyper-efficient 11-of-14 shooting.

21 points from Ray Allen and 17 points from Paul Pierce helped undergird the victory, but it was among KG’s best all-around games of a banner-hanging season.

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Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

The third was two years ago to the day, which saw the Celtics beat the Indiana Pacers 114 – 111 behind 30 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals from All-NBA forward Jayson Tatum.

The Duke alum had a middling night from deep, only hitting 3-of-9 shots from 3-point range, but connected on 11-of-22 of his field goals overall, and 5-of-6 from the line.

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July 31, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, USA; Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown (7) shoots between Milwaukee Bucks’ Brook Lopez (11) and Giannis Antetokounmpo during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, July 31, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Mandatory Credit: Ashley Landis via USA TODAY Sports

It was the last game that would be played that season for Boston until the season restarted at the end of July in a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Orlando bubble.

The reason was the onset of and interruption caused by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the birthday of former Boston guard Richard “Dick” Murphy, born today in 1921 in New York. He played for Manhattan College before joining the New York Knicks in the Basketball Association of America (BAA — a precursor league to the NBA) era.

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He didn’t finish the season with New York, however, joining the Celtics for a short stint of 25 games, over which he averaged 0.3 points and 0.4 assists per game.

Finally, it’s also the birthday of wing Edward “Bulbs” Ehlers, who came into this world two years later in Joliet, Illinois, and played collegiately for Purdue before being drafted by Boston with the third overall pick of the 1947 BAA draft.

He played two seasons with the Celtics, averaging 8.1 points and 2.3 assists per game over that stretch.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

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YouTube: https://bit.ly/3F9DvjQ

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

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