"Pourquoi?" I asked viciously, leaving the room with a slam of the door.
The crummy Celtics did what I knew they'd do all the while: they played a seven-game series, pinning me to the Bradford and to Libby Worthington, with our money evaporating as rapidly as our tolerance for each other.
After the St. Louis victory in the first game, the Celtics won commandingly the next night and journeyed to Missouri. They fell behind for the second time, absorbing a 100-98 defeat, only to tie again by beating the Hawks 123-118. Back in Boston for Game 5, the Celtics forged ahead with a 15-point victory. The sixth game in St. Louis broke my heart, a two-point loss that I listened to, crouched by the radio in the Bradford, my head in my hands.
It had come down to one game. One game against a team with momentum and Bob Pettit. One game, to be played at Boston Garden on Saturday afternoon, April 13, 1957. Libby, sympathizing with my anguish, whispered in the night, "I'm extremely sorry I called them crummy."
I went to the game alone, Libby insisting she'd be nothing but bad luck if she came with me. "I'll listen to it on the radio and pray for you," she said earnestly.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the Celtics behind 101-93, I left my seat, unable to cope with the apparent truth: they were going to lose. I went to the men's room, and then down a corridor, and then, hearing a wild cheer from the arena, I took a glimpse at the court from the back of an aisle. The Celtic deficit was now four.
Again in my seat behind the scorer's table, I vowed to stick it out, remain where I was, to face whatever music would be played. It was, after all, only a game, and I, it now seemed, was an adult.
The adult watched Heinsohn gun. From the corners, from the middle, from impossible distances and with shots I didn't know he had.
Cousy and Sharman were well off their games. I had never seen the two of them as jointly inaccurate as they were that afternoon; they shot 5 for 40 from the floor. It was left to the rookie from Holy Cross to keep the Celtics in contention. With Russell menacing on defense (he would pull down 32 rebounds), and with Russell and Frank Ramsey supplying crucial baskets and foul shots, the Celtics took a two-point lead. They had scored 10 unanswered points.
But then Pettit hit two free throws to tie the score 103-103. With six seconds left, Boston had a chance to win. Sharman took the shot. He missed, and we were in overtime.