INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Larry Bird said the Boston Celtics could have won Game 6 if his teammates passed him the ball more.
Bird scored 28 points on just 11 shots in a 119-108 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday that evened the NBA finals at three games apiece. He added 12 points from the foul line, 8 assists and 14 rebounds.
"I was open today more than I've been the whole series," he said. "We just didn't get the ball in my hands nearly enough to make something happen. And it's not (because of) the defense.
"My own teammates wouldn't give me the ball and we discussed that after the game. I feel that in the seventh game I'll have a lot more opportunities to make the plays."
Asked if the ball did not go to him for a reason, Bird said: "No. It's just something that happened in the course of the game. I would have loved to have the ball in my hands there when we were up by 11, 'cause I know I could have made something happen."
Gerald Henderson, who scored 22 points, said the loss was Boston's fault.
"We gave it away," he said. "We had an 11-point lead and we blew it. There's no way we should've lost this game. We made a lot of bad passes and they got their offense going."
Cedric Maxwell said the Lakers' Byron Scott (11 points, all in the second half) improved LA's ball movement.
"Scott comes in and bounces the ball one or two times and shoots or passes off, unlike Magic (Johnson) and (Michael) Cooper who dribble the ball a lot," Maxwell said. "When he came in he created problems for us."
Sixth man Kevin McHale said the Celtics were not surprised by James Worthy's shoving of Maxwell on a layup attempt.
"We're not gonna cry about that," he said. "I said it before - believe it or not, some people play basketball that way, they play hard to win.
"Ask (Lakers coach) Pat (Riley) what he thinks of it now," said McHale, in reference to Riley calling the Celtics 'thugs' for McHale's decking of Kurt Rambis in Game 4 on a similar fastbreak attempt.
Boston coach K.C. Jones said LA took control in the third quarter with its running game.
"The momentum changed with the fast break,' he said. 'It really got them going. They got it going and cut our lead to zilch. We all started missing outside shots at the same time."
Jones was also displeased with the officiating while Boston was trying to grab offensive rebounds.
"I feel we got the raw end of the stick," he said. "But the fact remains we lost an 11-point lead. Such is life in the NBA."
M.L. Carr suffered severe eye irritation when a fan threw a drink into his eyes as the teams were leaving the court.
"I'd like him to send me some flowers, so I could find out his address," joked Carr, after team physician Dr. Thomas Silva applied medication to both eyes.
Carr said he was told officials arrested the individual.