Cincinnati, after a fast start that can be credited to the considerable talents of Oscar Robertson, has tailed off and now looks like the same old Royals. Oscar's shooting, playmaking and rebounding have been big league, but the rest of the Royals suffer by comparison. Even Jack Twyman slumped badly enough to lose his starting status briefly as new Coach Charlie Wolf groped for a way to stop the slide back to the cellar.
Boston, after surviving some lapses to beat Western Division leader St. Louis 119-109, was rarely more devastating than when it played Detroit two nights later. With Bill Sharman and Bill Russell scoring 24 points, the Celtics did everything but run the Pistons off the court in a 39-23 first quarter and trimmed them 125-110 for their ninth straight. But the bubble burst against suddenly aroused New York. Puffed up by their third straight victory, over Detroit 118-107, the Knicks successfully employed their favorite strategy against Boston-big men out, little men in—and beat the Celtics 116-111 for the first time since last February. However, the Knicks' streak, too, soon came to an end. They lost to St. Louis 139-133 and Syracuse 130-113. Meanwhile, Philadelphia was still within reaching distance of first-place Boston in the East. The Warriors took two out of three from Los Angeles (112-137, 122-121, 117-114), but lost to the Hawks 131-127. Syracuse also began to move up, with four in a row over Cincinnati 129-105, 137-126, St. Louis 135-126 and New York 130-113.