Larry Bird scored 32 points and Robert Parish 21 last night in Boston as the Celtics celebrated the retirement of Red Auerbach's number with a 105-94 victory over the New York Knicks.
Danny Ainge scored 16 points, Cedric Maxwell 15 and Dennis Johnson 10 in helping offset 28 points by New York's Bernard King and 25 by Pat Cummings.
The Celtics defeated the Knicks for the third consecutive time this season and improved their home record to 14-1 after Auerbach was honored in pregame ceremonies, featuring the retirement of No. 2 to the Boston Garden's rafters.
Auerbach was the architect of nine NBA championships as a coach and six as general manager before assuming a single role as club president last summer.
Surrounded by 36 players -- including Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, Bill Russell and Bird -- arranged in groups by the four decades in which they played with the Celtics, Auerbach said, "I wouldn't be standing here today if it wasn't for all those guys out there. They're the ones that put the flags up there."
The Celtics, helped by nine straight points, took a 30-27 lead after one period and padded their advantage to 52-43 at halftime despite scoring only two points in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the second quarter.