On this day: Russell's 51 boards; Hondo's last ASG, Pierce's last at the Garden


On this day in Boston Celtics history, Hall of Fame Boston big man Bill Russell pulled down an unreal career-high of 51 rebounds on this date back in 1960. Russell would accomplish the feat despite playing the game with a charlie horse that slowed his ability to play - not that it showed up in the box score in any noticeable way - making the feat all the more impressive.

It would be the second-most boards ever pulled down by a player in the league's history at that time, and it came in a home game at the old Boston Garden against the (then) Syracuse Nationals (now, Philadelphia 76ers).

The Celtics won comfortably in a 124-100 blowout.


Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

It is also the date of iconic Celtics small forward John Havlicek's last All-Star Game in 1978.

Doug Collins of the Philadelphia 76ers gave Hondo his starting spot so he could retire an All-Star starter.

Havlicek would score 10 points in the mid-season friendly.


Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, in a weird twist of fate, it is the anniversary of Celtic legend Paul Pierce's first and last "home" game as a Celtic, if you take some liberty with what counts as a home game.

The first was in his rookie campaign of 1998-99, a 103- 92 loss to the Toronto Raptors, in which the Truth scored an impressive 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.


(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The last was not exactly a "home" game by the strictest definition given he was playing for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017 (who were technically once the Celtics, though that is a different story), where Pierce hit a single trey in just 5 minutes of play for Los Angeles in a game Boston won 107-102.

Like Hondo, Pierce went out a starter.

Listen to the "Celtics Lab" podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

YouTube: https://bit.ly/3F9DvjQ

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire


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