"If this is what the playoffs are about, I love 'em," said Wicks, who had 16 points and 11 rebounds in his postseason debut after six years in the pros.
In the Spur camp, meanwhile, all was gloom. The team had lost five of its final six regular-season games to blow the home-court advantage. Now it had dropped another to Boston. "It seems like we've been in a funeral for two weeks," said one player, "but we can't get to the graveyard."
Kenon, a sensitive soul, was still sullen over losing "Most Popular Spur" to Gervin in a fan vote. "This town has Gervinitis," he complained. "They don't recognize me enough. I'm the best player in the game."
"K's just K," drawled Gervin.
Although other NBA officials were striking, veteran Referee Richie Powers had worked the game in Boston. But for Friday's game in San Antonio the NBA sent two standby officials, Roger McCann, a former bartender at the Salty Dog on Long Island, and Don Durr, whose name, said a Spur, sounded "like some female tennis player."
"We got to get tough and bust some heads," said Moe, who conceded that his team's reputation for coming up short on competitiveness was richly earned.
The inexperience of the officials in the face of one of the league's more hostile crowds worked in favor of the home team as the Spurs came out jingle-jangle-jingling. Gervin bloodied Rowe's nose, and young Olberding sent Cowens sprawling as San Antonio scored the first eight points of the game. "Hey, Cowens," one fan screamed, "call me a taxi."
But, as Heinsohn was to say later, "We took their best shots and regrouped. My team does not roll over." White scored seven straight points and Boston slowly worked its will on the Spurs again.
Referees McCann and Durr soon lost all control of the infighting. Scott seemed particularly upset that his defensive work on Gervin was going unappreciated. In the second quarter Scott deliberately stood in front of Gervin—who was waiting to shoot a free throw—long enough to incur a team technical foul for "delay of game." In the third quarter Scott startled everybody by punching the ball away from Coby Dietrick, who was attempting to shoot the second of a two-for-one.
McCann nailed the Celtics with another delay-of-game technical, whereupon Scott blew up, used some magic words and was kicked out.