Thanks to M. L. Carr, the Boston Celtics have lived to play another game.
The exuberant 6-foot-6 Carr came off the Celtic bench Wednesday night and saved his team from almost certain doom with three free throws and two rebounds in the final 20 seconds.
The 111-109 Boston victory cut the Philadelphia 76ers' lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference championship playoff series to 3-2. Game 6 will be played tonight at the Spectrum in Philadelphia (WDVM-TV-9 at 11:30, delayed).
The Celtics has lost 11 straight at the Spectrum, but they still are confident.
"The fact that there is another game is all we aimed for," said Boston Coach Bill Fitch. "We plan to have another one here (in Boston) Sunday, too."
If Philadelphia wins, the 76ers will start the NBA championship round against the Western Conference champion Houston Rockets Sunday at the Spectrum.
"The fact that we haven't won at the Spectrum in so long shouldn't bother us," said Carr. "We just have to go down there and establish out game. If we go down there with confidence we'll be all right".
It has been a long tough season for Carr. He started the year behind Chris Ford and then beat out Ford, only to break his foot in an early season game at Capital Centre. The injury caused Carr to miss half the season.
Since coming back, his playing time has been minimal. Wednesday he played eight minutes in the first half and the last two minutes of the game. Still, he was able to make his presence felt.
"I'm sitting there ready to play at any time," he said. "It's not the quantity of time, but the quality of time. I try to get the most out of my minutes. My role is to sit on the bench, encourage the guys who are out ther playing and, when I get my chance, go in and get into the flow right away. I can fill that role, so I do. Not everyone can."