The Boston Celtics, Geriatric Joyboys of '69, evened up their championship series with the Los Angeles Lakers last night, eking out an 89-88 victory on Sam Jones' one-second-to-go jump shot.
Bill Russell now leads his brood to Los Angeles for the fifth game on Thursday. The clubs will return to Boston for a game Saturday night, which for the Celtics, will either sew up the championship or be an attempt to hang on.
Boston got the early jump on the invaders, quickly tallying nine points before the Lakers could find the basket. The Lakers, though, behind another superb performance (and 40 points) from Jerry West, came back, and the game was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way.
With 20 seconds to go and Los Angeles ahead, 88-86, Emmette Bryant sank a free throw to bring the Celts within victory range. Harried by a full-court press, the Lakers bobbled the ball over to the Celts and Bill Russell called time with seven seconds left on the Garden clock.
When the ball came back in, Boston worked the sphere around to Jones, playing his last year with the team. As the Garden exploded, Jones stretched the silken cords from the Key, and the Boston Celtics' hegemony rolled on.