On this day in Boston Celtics history, the franchise won their first-ever playoff series against the (then) Syracuse Nationals (now, Philadelphia 76ers) in 1953 at home behind a 50-point eruption from legendary Boston point guard Bob Cousy in a 111-105, four-overtime affair.
The win was a most spectacular one, coming in a four-overtime victory over the Syracuse Nationals at the old Boston Garden, and saw Cooz head to the free throw line for 32 attempts in the pre-shot-clock contest, of which he managed to convert a very healthy 30 of them. Several records were set in the contest, including Cousy’s 30 points at the line being the most in league history up to that point.
Two players from the Nationals — Red Rocha and Paul Seymour — set the record for most minutes played in a playoff game at 67, with Cousy right behind them at 66.
It is also the birthday of two former Celtics, center Vitaly Potapenko and forward Norm Cook.
Cook was born this day in Chicago, Illinois in 1955, and was drafted 16th overall in the 1976 NBA draft by Boston out of Kansas.
He played just one season for the Celtics, averaging 2.5 points and 1.1 rebounds per game with the team.
“Ukraine Train” — as Potapenko was called — was born in Kyiv, Ukraine in 1975 and played his college ball at Wright State before being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers 12th overall in 1996.
He would later be traded to Boston, where he would play for four seasons between 1999 and 2002.
He averaged 7.5 points and 5.8 rebounds with the Celtics before being dealt to the Seattle Supersonics as part of the trade that brought Vin Baker and Shammond Williams to Boston.
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