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Celtics’ streaks quiz

Free throws, win streaks, and beating the Knicks.

New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

If one wishes to try the harder All-Star edition of the quiz, try to answer the questions without looking at the multiple choice offerings; extra points only apply as possible if the correct answer to the original question is given first.

Layup: How many NBA championships did the Celtics win in a row during the 1950’s and ‘60’s to set a North American pro team sports record?

A) Eight

B) Ten

Dunk: What Celtic ace made 71 foul shots in a row in 1989-90 but fell short of breaking Calvin Murphy’s then-NBA record of 78?

A) Larry Bird

B) Ray Allen

Reverse layup: Which long-time rival beat Boston in consecutive Eastern Conference Finals showdowns in 1972 and 1973?

A) Philadelphia

B) New York

Free throw: Which Celtic passing wizard won eight straight assist titles?

A) Rajon Rondo

B) Bob Cousy

C) Larry Bird

Free throw: Which Boston ace marksman won the NBA free throw accuracy crown five years in a row?

A) Larry Bird

B) Larry Siegfried

C) Bill Sharman

Jump shot; Which Celtic fouled out of the first five games of the 1976 NBA Finals vs. Phoenix, then incurred five fouls in the clinching sixth game?

A) Dave Cowens

B) Charlie Scott

C) Paul Silas

D) Don Nelson

Jump shot: What is the Celtics club record for most consecutive wins?

*What teams ended their two longest streaks?

A) 17

B) 18

C) 19

D) 20

Jump shot: What Celtic player won eight straight NBA titles in his first eight seasons?

A) K.C. Jones

B) Tom Sanders

C) Tom Heinsohn

D) John Havlicek

Jump shot: Which Celtic Hall of Famer played all 82 games in each of his first four seasons?

A) Larry Bird

B) John Havlicek

C) JoJo White

D) Kevin McHale

Hook shot: Which Celtic was named first team All-NBA in each of his first nine seasons?

A) Bill Russell

B) Bob Cousy

C) Larry Bird

D) Bill Sharman

Jump shot: What Celtic great holds the record for most consecutive games played?

*How many?

A) John Havlicek

B) Kevin McHale

C) Bob Cousy

D) JoJo White

Jump shot: What team ended Boston’s incredible string of having home court advantage (by virtue of a better record) in 25 consecutive playoff series in the 1980’s?

*What year?

A) LA Lakers

B) Philadelphia

C) Detroit

D) Milwaukee

3-pointer: How many games in a row had Boston defeated the Knicks at the Boston Garden when New York upset the Celtics in the decisive fifth game of the 1990 first round series?

A) 21

B) 26

C) 29

D) 33

E) 36

3-pointer: Who holds the Celtic record for consecutive free throws made?

A) Jerry Sichting

B) Larry Bird

C) Larry Siegfried

D) Ray Allen

E) Danny Ainge

3-pointer: What team did Boston defeat 22 times in a row from 1970-74?

A) Philadelphia

B) Buffalo

C) New York

D) Portland

E) Cleveland

3-pointer: How many free throws in a row had Larry Bird made in decisive home playoff games before missing in game 5 of the 1990 first round vs. the Knicks?

A) 29

B) 33

C) 37

D) 41

E) 46

Maximum scoring possibility: 35 points


Layup: A) 8. Boston won a record eight NBA crowns in a row from 1959 through 1966. The New York Yankees and Montreal Canadiens have each won five consecutive titles in baseball and hockey, respectively. No other NBA team has ever won more than three titles in succession (Lakers 1952-54, 2000-02; Bulls 1991-93, 1996-98).

Dunk: A) Bird, with Murphy in attendance announcing the Celtic/Rocket game for Houston, finally missed on shot 72 as Calvin celebrated courtside. His nearly two-month streak started Dec. 19, 1989 and ended on Feb. 13, 1990.

Bird then made 15 more foul shots in a row after the miss, which would have run his streak to 87 in a row.

In that 1989-90 comeback season, Bird led the NBA with a career-best 93 percent free throw clip.

Murphy set his record of 78 straight in 1980-81. Micheal Williams of Minnesota set the current record of 97 straight made FTs in 1993.

Reverse layup: B) The arch-rival New York Knicks knocked Boston out in 1972 (4-1) and 1973 (4-3) in the Eastern Finals.

Free throw: B) Bob Cousy won eight assist crowns in a row from 1953 through 1960. John Stockton later broke that mark with nine straight from 1988-96.

Free throw: C) Sharpshooting guard Bill Sharman won five NBA free throw pct. titles in a row from 1953 through 1957. He added two more foul shooting crowns in 1959 and 1961.

Bird won four FT crowns, including three out of four from 1984-87. Siegfried won two, in 1966 and 1969.

Jump shot: B) Charlie Scott committed 35 out of a maximum possible 36 fouls in the six-game 1976 Finals. Cowens was whistled for 28 fouls in the series.

Jump shot: C) Boston posted 19 wins in a row in the 2008-09 title defense season to break the previous record of 18 set in 1982 - another title defense campaign that came up short. The LA Lakers broke the streak on Christmas Day 2008, 92-83.

Boston won 18 straight in the 1981-82 season as the Celtics posted a league-best 63-19 record. It was the third consecutive season Boston had the NBA’s best record - in Bird’s first three seasons they compiled 61, 62 and then 63 wins.

The 76ers ended that streak March 28, 1982 by a 116-98 count.

In Larry’s first seven seasons, Boston amassed the league’s best record six times - despite playing two-thirds of their schedule against the much tougher Eastern Conference of the time.

Jump shot: A) K.C. Jones, who had to serve a military hitch after college, was a 26-year old rookie in 1958 who went on to win the NBA title in his first eight seasons. He also won titles his last two NCAA college seasons at San Francisco, as well as the 1956 Olympic gold meal - making it 11 consecutive championships.

Only in his ninth and final season did he fail to win it all as the 76ers ended the Boston run of eight crowns in 1967.

Sanders won titles in his first six seasons from 1961-66, while Havlicek won four in a row at the start of his career (1963-66). Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell each won eight rings in their first nine seasons (1957-66), losing only in 1958 to the Hawks in the Finals.

Jump shot: D) Kevin McHale played in all 328 games of his first four regular seasons. Including 59 straight playoff games in those four seasons, he played in 387 consecutive contests.

Hook shot: C) Bird was named first team All-NBA from his rookie campaign in 1980 through 1988. His streak came to a halt when surgery on both Achilles ended his 1988-89 campaign just six games into the season.

Jump shot: D) Ironman White played in 488* consecutive regular season games from January 21 of 1972 to January 29, 1978.

Jump shot: A) The Lakers ended the Celtic homecourt advantage streak in the 1987* Finals. Prior to that, the last time Boston didn’t have home court was in the 1977 eastern semis, a 4-3 loss to the 76ers.

Thus in Larry Bird’s first 25 playoff series, Boston had home court every time - and they were 21-4 in those series.

3-pointer: B) 26. The Knicks played out of their mind, shooting over 70 percent from the field in the second half to pull off a 121-114 upset at Boston. Patrick Ewing’s improbable desperation turnaround triple from the corner as the shot clock expired clinched the rare road win.

3-pointer: D) Ray Allen broke Bird’s club mark by one as he canned 72 straight charity stripers during the 2008-09 season.

3-pointer: B) Buffalo, a new expansion team in 1970-71, was a Celtic victim 22 times in a row from 1970-74. The Celtics also had a 20-game win string over the 76ers from 1971-74.

3-pointer: E) 46. Bird shot 10-10 in game 7 vs. Detroit in the 1987 eastern finals, and made all 13 of his foul shots in game 7 of the 1987 eastern semis vs. the Bucks.

In the famous game 7 shootout vs. Dominique Wilkins and the Hawks in the 1988 ECSF, Bird was 3-3 at the foul line.

In Game 7 of the epic 1984 Finals vs. the Lakers, Bird made all eight of his free throw tries, including four in the final minute to clinch the victory.

In Game 7 of the 1984 eastern semis vs. the Knicks, Bird shot 12-12 from the charity stripe.

Boston won all five of those decisive home contests as Larry Legend averaged 32.2 points per game.

To contact the quizmaster directly, email Cort Reynolds at

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