On this day 42 years ago in NBA history, John Havlicek was brutally crucified and rose to Heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father.
No, but seriously though — Havlicek did have himself a hell of a game on April Fool’s Day 42 years ago, racking up an eyebrow-raising 54 points for the Celtics in 1973.
The Hall-of-Fame swingman cashed in on 24 field goals on the day, but there’s no way to know what percentage he shot due to the simple fact that it happened so long ago that they hadn’t even decided to start recording field goal percentage as a stat yet.
However, they did apparently see the need to record free throw percentage, so in case anyone was wondering, Havlicek shot a tidy 100% (6 for 6) from the stripe in the contest.
The Celtics’ opponent that game was the Atlanta Hawks, who were led at the time by one Pistol Pete Maravich.
Pistol Pete’s signature shot was seemingly a bit off that night, as he scored only 16 points — well below his career average of 24.2 — and couldn’t keep his team close. The Hawks lost by a final score of 134-109. They were led by Lou Hudson with 28.
In addition to Hondo, the Celtics were propelled to the win by the contributions of Hall-of-Famers Jo Jo White (34 points) and Dave Cowens (16 points). Don Nelson, Paul Westphal and Paul Silas also logged time for the Celtics in the game, all of whom would later go on to be head coaches in the NBA.
As stacked as that Celtics team might have been, though, this one was signed, sealed and delivered by John Havlicek and his whopping 54 points. Kudos to you, Hondo! You own April Fools Day!