The Boston Celtics already had won 11 championships by the 1973-74 season. But believe it or not, they still had something to prove entering the 1974 NBA Finals.
That's because the Celtics had yet to win a title without the legendary Bill Russell, who retired as a player in 1969.
On this date 46 years ago, though -- May 12, 1974 -- John Havlicek and Co. ushered in a new era of Celtics basketball.
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In a winner-take-all Game 7 of the 1974 NBA Finals against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Celtics went on the road and defeated Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's squad 102-87 to win their 12th NBA championship and their first without Russell.
Havlicek and Jo Jo White added 16 points each, but Dave Cowens was the star for Boston, racking up 28 points and 14 rebounds to help Tommy Heinsohn win his first championship as head coach.
May 12, 1974— Boston Sports Info (@bostonsportsinf) May 12, 2020
Boston Celtics win their 12th NBA Championship with a romp over the Milwaukee Bucks (102-87) in Game 7
Dave Cowens (28 pts, 14 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl) leads the waypic.twitter.com/exlXoK14qi
Here are two other notable May 12 performances from the C's, who are 6-4 all-time in games played on this date:
May 12, 2012: Rajon Rondo (13 points, 12 rebounds,. 17 assists) drops a triple-double in the Celtics' Game 1 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Rondo had 10 career playoff triple-doubles for the Celtics, tied with Larry Bird for the most in franchise history.
May 12, 1985: Kevin McHale (28 points) and Robert Parish (26 points, 13 rebounds) power Boston to another win over Philly, this time in Game 1 of the East Finals.