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Flashback Friday: Celtics get an English lesson

Alex English, Dan Schayes lead Nuggets past Boston

Nuggets forward Alex English torched the Boston Celtics for 37 points on Dec. 27, 1988.
Mike Powell/NBAE/Getty Images

Dec. 27, 1988
McNichols Sports Arena

Playing without starting guard Fat Lever, the Denver Nuggets took advantage of Larry Bird’s absence in a 130-109 rout of the Boston Celtics at McNichols Sports Arena.

Alex English scored 37 points on 15-of-32 shooting, while Dan Schayes (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Michael Adams (22 points, 12 assists) added double-doubles for Denver.

Current Nuggets coach Brian Shaw was a rookie for the Celtics at the time. He came off the bench to score 21 points on 10-of-17 shooting. He also had four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“I had a couple of breakaways in that game and I remember the altitude getting to me,” Shaw recalled. “I dunked the one time and then, maybe two plays later, I got another breakaway but I was too tired to dunk. I laid it up and the crowd booed me because I didn’t dunk.”

The home crowd had plenty of other things to to cheer about. The Nuggets led by 11 at halftime and pushed the advantage to 20 by the end of the third quarter. They scored 100-plus points for the 27th straight game to open the 1988-89 season.